NYT: Nokia suffers from 'stifling bureaucratic culture'

The New York Times has an interesting piece up about the hardships Nokia’s new CEO, Stephen Elop, is about to face. Insiders and former employees describe the inner-workings of Nokia as a “stifling bureaucratic culture.” Citing the 2002 cancellation of a 3D user interface for Symbian handsets and the 2004 scrapping of a full-touchscreen prototype device and online mobile applications store, the Times details just what kind of corporate environment Mr. Elop is stepping into. “Proposals were often rejected because their payoffs were seen as too small,” said Ari Hakkarainen, a Nokia manager from 1999 to 2007. Kai Nyman, Nokia’s former chief architect for enterprise domain strategy, described the scrapping of a 3D interface his team had created in 2002; management rejected the idea as it added $2.05 in production costs to each handset. Samsung release the first 3D interface 7-years later in 2009. Nokia is still set to sell a mind-boggling 70 million smartphones this year — not to mention account for 1.6% of Finland’s GDP — let’s hope Mr. Elop can turn the corporate culture around.

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