Nokia poaches Microsoft exec

The former CIO of Boston Chicken Inc. and, more recently, President of Microsoft's Business Divison has been snapped up by Nokia to replace Olli-Pekka Lallasvuo as CEO of Nokia.

Elop had been at Microsoft heading the division responsible for the Office suite just under three years and will now take on the mantle of leadership at the Finnish mobile phone manufacturer.

Nokia's hopes are that the Canuck will be able to lead Nokia through the bold new era of smartphone computing by providing some sharp business acumen. Elop has championed the Live cause at Microsoft in recent years, taking Office to the cloud and moving along with Windows Azure - with some success, we might say.

In a letter to Microsoft staffers, Steve Ballmer has attempted to minimise damage and taken interim leadership of the business unit and lightening his burden with familiar names of department heads. The departure, as Ballmer puts it, is "effective immediately" although Elop will only take the reins of Nokia by the 21st of the month.

Nokia, which has been trailing just about everyone else, in its efforts to conquer the smartphone market due to its reliance on hardware rather than software, seems to have finally got the message that sitting on top of an OS is different from actually building on it.