Investors urge Nokia boss to change course

NOKIA shareholders vented their anger at the mobile phone maker’s slow turnaround yesterday and warned chief executive Stephen Elop that time was running out.

At the Finnish company’s annual meeting, investors raised fears about Nokia’s ability to make strides in the smartphone market and urged it to abandon the Windows Phone software its devices use.

Since agreeing to partner with Microsoft in 2011, Elop has had little success grabbing market share from Apple and Samsung. Although sales of its Lumia smartphones have picked up somewhat in recent months, the firm’s revenues are a fraction of what they once were and shares are now worth a tenth of their 2007 level.

Recently, sales of low-cost phones in developing countries – where Nokia has remained strong – have been hit by a wave of cheap smartphones.

Yesterday, some shareholders suggested that Nokia should begin making devices that run Google’s Android software, which dominates most markets, rather than betting on Windows Phone. “The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Please switch to another road,” one said.

However, Elop reiterated his commitment to Microsoft’s software and said there was no alternative.

“It’s very clear to us that in today’s war of ecosystems, we’ve made a very clear decision to focus on Windows Phone with our Lumia product line,” he said. “And it is with that that we will compete with competitors.”