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Former Nokia Chief Stephen Elop Lands Strategy Role at Australian Carrier Telstra

The former Microsoft and Nokia executive will split his time between Australia and the U.S. starting next month.


Stephen Elop, who oversaw Nokia’s ill-fated effort to bet the company on Microsoft’s Windows Phone software, has been hired as strategy chief for Australia’s Telstra.

Elop, 52, will begin on April 4 and be based in the U.S. and Australia, reporting to Andrew Penn, CEO of the Australian telecom firm.

“Stephen will immediately add major firepower to our team with his extensive and deep technology experience and an innate sense of customer expectations,” Penn said in a statement.

While not the most popular guy in Finland these days, Elop has held a number of senior roles at major tech firms, including running Microsoft’s Office division and serving as CEO of Macromedia. He was also a senior executive at Adobe and served as COO at Juniper Networks.

At Nokia, Elop famously described the carrier as operating on “a burning platform” and chose Windows Phone over Android. The company later sold its phone unit to Microsoft, which has drastically scaled back the business after failing to grow the Windows Phone market. Elop oversaw Microsoft’s device unit after Nokia sold the business to Microsoft, but left in a leadership shakeup last year.

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