Nokia Plan B shareholders give up after 36 hours

By on February 16, 2011, 8:59 AM
Yesterday we reported that some Nokia shareholders were offering a Plan B for the company, and even wrote a lengthy list of suggestions. The group of nine young Nokia shareholders was planning to challenge the company's strategy and partnership with Microsoft in the next Annual General Meeting scheduled for May 3, 2011. After 36 hours, however, the group has given up.

The nine wanted to seriously change the current management, which included getting the expulsion of Nokia CEO Stephen Elop. They argued that Nokia should maintain ownership and control of the software layer of its products because software is where innovation, differentiation, and shareholder value can most easily be created. They also wanted a revamp in hiring strategy, the elimination of outdated and bureaucratic R&D practices, and at all cost avoid becoming "a poorly differentiated OEM."

All of that has now gone out the window. They cited two reasons: by the time their plan even came to fruition, most of the talented software developers at Nokia would already be gone, and the institutional investors who hold most of Nokia stock have told them that their legal fiduciary responsibility bars them from going along with an activist plan. You can read the full exit decision, aptly titled Calling it quits, below:

After reviewing the feedback we've received from investors on our Plan B, we have decided not to carry on with it.

In the last 36 hours we were contacted by hundreds of individual shareholders (owning anywhere from 10 to 400,000 Nokia shares) pledging to support us by proxy voting or by personally attending the AGM.

Nevertheless, the responses that we received from institutional investors were not encouraging. These institutions have a fiduciary responsibility to their customers and are legally bared from supporting radical initiatives like seating a bunch of kids on the board of directors. If they do not agree with Nokia's plans, they are better off simply divesting and putting their money in other companies that better fit their investing strategy (which is exactly what they have been doing).

We also realized that by the time our Plan B would kick in, most remaining software talent in Nokia would have already left the company, so it would be really an uphill battle to pick up things from there.

This is it from us. It's up to you what to do with your money. We'll stop short of endorsing NokiaPlanC.com or NokiaPlanX.com even though we think they are both very good ideas.





User Comments: 30

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yRaz yRaz said:

those nine shareholders never saw a windows phone

mosu said:

It's hard fighting the establishment, but you always could try and why not. become the new Google or Apple.Nice try and good luck.

Jibberish18 said:

Too Little Too Late. They didn't say anything while watching the company go downhill for the last 5 years yet now they come up with this "very good idea".

MrAnderson said:

probably not. But just becuase they are going to primarily do windows phones does not mean they can not do other things. ie. do go through with updating R&D to make them more responsive. I say if this windows thing does work to an advantage they can develop software and even work on other projects and test the waters. I think the windows thing will be interesting. I cannot tell if it is a good idea or a bad idea because there is no history and Windows Phone 7 is not mature enough. I think it is a reasonable choice and the market share nokia has will give new OS a chance to grow. Microsoft just really needs to pick up the ball on iteration of the OS and feature updates. Their competition have already set the pace. So they need to keep up, or run right past. The business model for mobile OS versioning has changed drastically. Customers extect to get get regular updates for the life time of the device.

Apple is more prepared for this kind of model becuase it is not too different from how they managed all their other products. Moreover, when they had a Mac OS release that required a purchase the barrier to entry was so low for upgrades... approx 79.95 each time and enough upgrades to support the same hardware giving the customer time to save up for the next hardware refresh coming around the bend.

Guest said:

WP7 for nokia might not be bad. There are not a lot of big players in the smartphone industry that have WP7 as their sole OS. Companies like HTC and LG do have some interesting WP7 phones but most of their best phones are using android. So differentiation might not be that hard, if they can portray themselves as the official WP7 phone maker.

Guest said:

Sell your NOK know. NOK to 4.

Guest said:

From one of Metallica's songs "Sad, but true".

Nokia and the recent partnership with Microsoft won't be able to fight the three major mobile operating systems:

- iOS

- Android

- Blackberry RIM

Nokia will disappear and Windows Phone OS will not establish itself.

Developers will concentrate on delivering mainly iOS and Android apps.

Let's prey for the Finnish people ("Finnish"? "Finish"? hehehe...).

That's the price you pay for being late.

Cheers, mate.

Jibberish18 said:

Nokia and the recent partnership with Microsoft won't be able to fight the three major mobile operating systems:

- iOS

- Android

- Blackberry RIM

It's funny to me. You still find RIM a major mobile operating system. They've gone downhill just like Nokia. Lord knows the Torch didn't save them. Their tablet looks awesome but that's not a phone.

yRaz yRaz said:

Why is everyone trying to shoot down WP7 before it even has a chance to take a place in the market? It's really making mad how many people dislike WP7 but know nothing about it.

Another thing, why do we allow all these guests to troll so much? 2 out of the 3 guests that posted so far have nothing to contribute to the article.

Guest said:

@ yRaz

If Techspot.com blocked Guests, there wouldn't be any posts.

The Internet is a democratic place.

Open your mind Noob.

yRaz yRaz said:

@ yraz

if techspot.com blocked guests,there wouldn't be any posts.

the internet is a democratic place.

Open your mind noob.

troll!!!

That bold statement is BS, btw. Thanks for proving my point.

Guest said:

Yes i agree with rYaz, on 2 things:

1. Nobody knows what window phone 7 can do in order to compete with the market, and its value proposition to the customer and also the stockholders. But all in all this may be THE thing to boost Nokia's status back to the front in competing with others, and Stephen knows it which is why i think he agrees to collaborate with Microsoft.. even if it means losing a bit in profit but gaining back the names. So why not we just sit back and see, how Nokia would win back the OS and branding war.

2. Trolling. Some people may have abandon Nokia because of the new player in town, namely IPhones.. and for this new toy they have chosen to pull others into their side of barring Nokia's support, forgetting all the history Nokia has in providing customer a high durability, efficient, innovative, and creative phones over the past decades.

For those reader who are reading this do bear in mind that all the comments you've read are merely people's point of view, not the actual fact or happening that is going on right here right now.

jobeard jobeard, TS Ambassador, said:

For those reader who are reading this do bear in mind that all the comments you've read are merely people's point of view, not the actual fact or happening that is going on right here right now.
BRAVO!!! Reading on the Internet, one quickly developes (at least certainly should) the skill to consider the source.

Guest said:

personally i cant wait for nokia to get a wp7 phone onto the market,

many of its high end phones have awesome amounts of hardware features, (e.g. how many other 2/3 year old phones can become wifi hotspots?/have 32gig etc) while symbian has effectivly crippled them.

even if this partnership turns out to be complete poo, not all the phones are going wp7. and they hold around 33% market share, even last year when nokia did effectivly f-all and apple ate the world. their market share only dropped ~5-10%.

i am bored of this "pay for phone, pay for contract, pay for calls, pay for software, pay for features". at least nokia gives you something for your money. free satnav anyone?

Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

Guest said:

From one of Metallica's songs "Sad, but true".

Nokia and the recent partnership with Microsoft won't be able to fight the three major mobile operating systems:

- iOS

- Android

- Blackberry RIM

Nokia will disappear and Windows Phone OS will not establish itself.

Developers will concentrate on delivering mainly iOS and Android apps.

Let's prey for the Finnish people ("Finnish"? "Finish"? hehehe...).

That's the price you pay for being late.

Cheers, mate.

Ugh. You and posts like this make me sick. You don't even recognize the fact that Windows Mobile is an established OS, existing well before iOS and Android! Windows Phone is merely replacing it! And if you're going to include Blackberry, why don't you go ahead and include webOS, MeeGo, and Symbian while you're at it? And I don't think we should "prey" for the Finnish. Praying might be a good thing, but not for work. Nokia isn't the only business in Finland, you know.

yRaz said:

Why is everyone trying to shoot down WP7 before it even has a chance to take a place in the market? It's really making mad how many people dislike WP7 but know nothing about it.

Another thing, why do we allow all these guests to troll so much? 2 out of the 3 guests that posted so far have nothing to contribute to the article.

I can't figure that out either. Haters just hate. There's a disgusting anti-Microsoft-anything and worship-Apple-everything disease going around these days. I agree; why can't TechSpot require registering for comments like just about every other tech website?

Guest said:

@ yRaz

If Techspot.com blocked Guests, there wouldn't be any posts.

The Internet is a democratic place.

Open your mind Noob.

Riiiiiight. Cause guests clearly take up the majority of posts...

The Internet is not democratic. It is a resource for knowledge, an outlet for capitalist gain, and a forum for free expression. There is no majority rule on the Internet.

And if you call somebody a "Noob", do it properly. n00b.

PanicX PanicX, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

yRaz said:

Why is everyone trying to shoot down WP7 before it even has a chance to take a place in the market? It's really making mad how many people dislike WP7 but know nothing about it.

Not that I can speak for others, but I don't think its so much an anti-microsoft sentiment, as a pro-open source ideal. Open source OS's have had very limited success against the closed source installed user base until Android arrived. In the mobile sector, not only is Android top dog, but its gaining ground, and to see a major player like Nokia choose WP7 is upsetting. Hell, all those developers they just laid off could have EASILY been applied to Android development, you don't suppose Microsoft will hire them do you?

Personally, I prefer LG's "focus on the hardware for any software" philosophy and let the end users choose whats best for them.

princeton princeton said:

Jibberish18 said:

Nokia and the recent partnership with Microsoft won't be able to fight the three major mobile operating systems:

- iOS

- Android

- Blackberry RIM

It's funny to me. You still find RIM a major mobile operating system. They've gone downhill just like Nokia. Lord knows the Torch didn't save them. Their tablet looks awesome but that's not a phone.

That's what I was thinking. RIM has relied on its reputation as number 1 for too long. Now that businesses are giving their employees android devices RIM will be giving its employees mass layoffs.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@yRaz

I wish TS would ban Guest posts like few other sites I know have done it. I believe it will improve the quality of contribution we get from members and all the while there will be far less garbage to go through.

Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

Archean said:

@yRaz

I wish TS would ban Guest posts like few other sites I know have done it. I believe it will improve the quality of contribution we get from members and all the while there will be far less garbage to go through.

Yep, there are far too many drive-by posters, who don't care about contributing but only trolling.

Jibberish18 said:

Now now. Nothing wrong with drive by posters. Increases site traffic and lets people express their feelings. Although some of them may be bothersome to you, at least they're not being disrespectful. This is the internet. Be thankful the trolls are mature.

Also, you know that MANY people still think of Windows Mobile as a slow and complicated OS that it once was. This is to be expected. As for Symbian, it has it's ups and downs. Seems like Nokia did what Blackberry did, which is they were comfortable being on top because of their aging OS, the difference being that they were on top in Europe and RIM was on top worldwide for businesses mainly.

Jibberish18 said:

Apparently this was a Hoax.

aj_the_kidd said:

If they gave up after 36 hours clearly they were not fit to lead the company, not to mention the fact that they are a tad bit late with their proposal

aj_the_kidd said:

Jibberish18 said:

Apparently this was a Hoax.

Check this out http://nokiaplans.com/

Jibberish18 said:

aj_the_kidd said:

Jibberish18 said:

Apparently this was a Hoax.

Check this out http://nokiaplans.com/

That's great ^

Guest said:

I don't know how old you guys are or what companies you work for. RIM owns the corporate environment. Everything company i've ever worked for was using Blackberries. And yes some have recently allowed employees to use IPhone etc but all of there bread and butter is in a BES server.

Look at what any of the directors or the VP in your companies are using most are all on blackberries.

I believe rim makes more money off business than they ever could from the consumer market where andriod and the iphone are strong. Don't get it twisted people that actually use their phones for work use blackberries.

When you actually look at it from the business side and not a end user you will clearly see RIM isn't going anywhere anytime soon. There "old and outdated" berries are still better for doing actual work than any other phone on the market.

princeton princeton said:

I don't know how old you guys are or what companies you work for. RIM owns the corporate environment. Everything company i've ever worked for was using Blackberries. And yes some have recently allowed employees to use IPhone etc but all of there bread and butter is in a BES server.

Look at what any of the directors or the VP in your companies are using most are all on blackberries.

I believe rim makes more money off business than they ever could from the consumer market where andriod and the iphone are strong. Don't get it twisted people that actually use their phones for work use blackberries.

When you actually look at it from the business side and not a end user you will clearly see RIM isn't going anywhere anytime soon. There "old and outdated" berries are still better for doing actual work than any other phone on the market.

So you've been out of work for over a year I presume? Because what you've "seen" is unbelievably old info. TONS of businesses are switching over to android devices.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@Guest

RIM's forte has been its exceptionally good security when compared to other offerings, and I do agree that businesses still prefer (the older generation at least) Black Berries. We here have almost equal number of Black Berries + WinMO + some WP7 devices at work. Funnily enough only I use Android phone, mainly because my work provided Symbian phone died and I haven't bothered to ask for replacement and using my personal cell phone; although even I am waiting to jump the ship anyway.

hitech0101 said:

The new nokia change is going to be weird.

Guest said:

TBH I am very curious about the result of this Microsoft & Nokia partnership, but I understand when people, based on the previous Redmond failures in other areas, don't show any hope in this venture working.

cwo715 said:

like most people who support a cause, and are not in it to win it, this article is a perfect example. You got the support and all but you give up

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