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Elop's Exit Adds To Microsoft's Mounting Challenges

Wall Street Journal - Sep 10, 2010

The departure of a Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) executive who oversaw one of the company's biggest revenue drivers adds to the challenges facing Chief Executive Steve Ballmer, who is restructuring a software giant playing catch-up with Google Inc. (GOOG) and Apple Corp. (AAPL).

On Friday, struggling Finnish mobile phone giant Nokia Corp. (NOK) said it had hired Stephen Elop, who ran Microsoft's very profitable business division. The division, which makes the Office suite of software and the SharePoint collaboration product, is currently Microsoft's strongest arm.

The departure of Elop, who had been at Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft for less than three years, caps a bruising period for the software giant. In May, Robbie Bach, a long-time Microsoft employee who led the entertainment and devices division since it was created in 2005, left the company amid a shakeup. Shortly after, Microsoft killed a mobile phone line it had launched just a month earlier.

The latest departure adds to the burden facing Ballmer, who has watched his company shares dwindle 22% since the beginning of the year as the company struggles to develop appealing products for the mobile market. Once the second-largest company in the U.S., Microsoft has seen its position usurped by Apple, a company that it had almost put out of business.

Read Full Article from Wall Street Journal

- Posted: 2010-09-10 21:07:32

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