Nokia CEO berates company’s lack of innovation

Nokia’s CEO has berated the company’s lack of innovation and given the strongest indication yet that the company will change operating system (OS) in order to remain competitive in the smartphone market.

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Stephen Elop writes in a leaked internal memo to employees that Nokia had fallen behind to Google and Apple because it had not been delivering innovation fast enough.

The leak comes just days before Elop is to hold a strategy and financial briefing in London on 11 February to update investors on Nokia’s turnaround strategy, where he is expected to announce major restructuring.

Nokia reported a 21% drop in its fourth-quarter net profit last month and Elop admitted then that it is “time to change faster” in order to compete with iPhone and Android .

The memo says: “Our competitors aren’t taking market share with devices; they are taking our market share with an entire ecosystem.”

Elop says the company will take action by building, catalysing or joining another “ecosystem”.

Reports have suggested Nokia is considering moving to Google’s Android OS or Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS.

Elop says the company was left behind because it “poured gasoline on [its] own burning platform” and lacked accountability and leadership to align and direct the company through disruptive times.

Nokia’s CEO also criticises the company’s “non-competitive” Symbian OS and its MeeGo OS, which has yet to be launched.

He says: “At this rate, by the end of 2011, we might have only one MeeGo product in market”.

According to reports, the memo is genuine and was posted to an internal employee system.

Nokia declined to comment.

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