Former Nokia Chief Stephen Elop Joins Telstra

Opening Day Of Mobile World Congress 2015
Stephen Elop, executive vice president of devices and studio for Microsoft Corp., speaks as he unveils the new Windows Lumia 640 smartphone in the Microsoft Corp. pavilion at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, on Monday, March 2, 2015. The event, which generates several hundred million euros in revenue for the city of Barcelona each year, also means the world for a week turns its attention back to Europe for the latest in technology, despite a lagging ecosystem. Photographer: Pau Barrena/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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Serial tech exec Stephen Elop has a new gig: He will be group executive technology, innovation and strategy for Telstra.

He will assume his duties in what is a new role at the Australian telcom on April 4, according to a Telstra announcement on Wednesday. Elop will report to Telstra chief executive Andrew Penn and will work out of both the U.S. and Australia.

In a statement, Penn boasted:

Stephen will immediately add major firepower to our team with his extensive and deep technology experience and an innate sense of customer expectations. He is a recognised international technology leader and strategist from across a range of global organizations.

Elop has cut a wide swath through the industry. He was briefly chief executive at Macromedia just before its acquisition by Adobe (ADBE), then assuming high-ranking roles at Juniper Networks (JNPR) and Microsoft (MSFT), where he headed up the group in charge of the Office cash cow franchise from 2008 until 2010 when he was named chief executive of Nokia (NOK).

Read more: Nadella cleans house at Microsoft

At Nokia, faced with falling revenue, Elop changed things, dropping its internal mobile operating system and aligning with Microsoft’s Windows Phone effort. That didn’t help much. Nokia suffered massive layoffs.

Then, in a deal that was widely rumored in advance, Microsoft ended up buying Nokia’s mobile devices business in 2013 for a whopping $7.2 billion, and Elop was back at Microsoft as executive vice president of the company’s devices group. Elop was seen as a friend and protegé of Microsoft’s then chief executive Steve Ballmer, and there was speculation that he was on the short list of potential Ballmer successors.

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That didn’t happen. Just over a year after Satya Nadella was named to that post in February 2014, Elop was out of the company.

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