Wie of wat heeft Nokia de das omgedaan?

HELSINKI – Het lijkt een wet te zijn in de technologiesector dat toonaangevende bedrijven uiteindelijk hun positie verliezen – dikwijls snel en meedogenloos. Mobieletelefonie-kampioen Nokia, een van Europa's grootste succesverhalen op technologiegebied, bleek geen uitzondering; het concern is in een paar jaar tijd zijn marktaandeel kwijtgeraakt. Kunnen de nieuwe kampioenen van de sector, Apple en Google – om maar te zwijgen van die in andere technologiesectoren – het lot van Nokia ontlopen?

In 2007 nam Nokia ruim 40% van de wereldwijde omzet aan mobiele telefoons voor zijn rekening. Maar de voorkeur van de consument begon ook toen al te verschuiven in de richting van smartphones met touchscreens. Na de introductie van Apple's iPhone halverwege dat jaar slonk het marktaandeel van Nokia razendsnel en kelderden de inkomsten. Eind 2013 verkocht Nokia zijn telefoondivisie aan Microsoft.

Wat het lot van Nokia bezegelde was een reeks beslissingen van Stephen Elop in zijn positie van CEO, die hij sinds oktober 2010 bekleedde. Iedere dag dat Elop aan het roer stond bij Nokia daalde de marktwaarde van het concern met €18 mln, zodat hij – cijfermatig gezien – een van de slechtste CEO's uit de geschiedenis was.

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