THURSDAY 10 FEB 2011 2:16 PM


A memo from Nokia CEO Stephen Elop to the company's employees has been leaked, revealing a startling perspective on Nokia's current position in the telecoms marketplace.

Elop compares Nokia to a man standing on a "burning platform", who is faced with a choice between certain death - remaining on the fiery platform - or jumping into the freezing waters below. He makes the point - and does so powerfully - that Nokia needs to change its behaviour in order to continue to compete.

The leak comes ahead of the company's annual Capital Markets Day on 11 February, when it is speculated that several major changes to Nokia's operations will be announced - "a path to rebuild [their] market leadership."

The memo describes the inroads that Nokia's competitors have made into all price ranges of the phone market: notably, Apple, Android, and Chinese producers such as MediaTek. Elop criticises Nokia for its sloth in bringing platforms and and products to market while those around them move forward.

It remains to be seen how Nokia's official communications will align with this unofficial source. Elop acknowledges the immediate economic effect of Nokia's failure to compete by referencing the possible downgrading of their credit rating, which would have instant financial implications for shareholders. This memo is the first step in communicating, and attempting to solve, the crisis that Nokia may well be facing.

Updated: Nokia announced on Friday morning plans for a strategic partnership with Microsoft. The Finnish company will adopt Windows Phone as its primary smartphone platform, in a move that many are seeing as a tacit acknowledgement of Symbian's failure to compete in the global market. The announcement led to a sharp downturn in Nokia shares on the Helsinki Stock Exchange.