Nokia CEO Wants His Employees Using iPhones

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Screen shot 2011-06-02 at 10.19.22 AM

Now that ex-Microsoft business veep Stephen Elop has taken over the floundering handset giant Nokia and inked deals with his old employer to use their mobile operating system, you’d think he’d want his employees to start using Windows Phone 7 handsets… preferably Nokia ones.

Not so. He wants them using iPhones.

In a report over at Businessweek describing the hard task ahead of Elop in getting his new employees to change the entrenched way of thinking that led to the once supreme handset giant’s fall, they recount a meeting in which Elop questioned 11,600 Nokia engineers and asked them how many people used an iPhone or an Android device.

When few hands were raised, Elop sharply reprimanded his engineers.

“That upsets me,” Elop said. “Not because some of you are using iPhones, but because only a small number of you are using iPhones.”

“I’d rather people have the intellectual curiosity to try to understand what we’re up against,” said Elop.

I don’t know about you, but this is the sort of anecdote that makes me think Nokia has a fighting chance. Elop’s trying to rip the head of the Nokia ostrich out of the sands as the huge old bird kicks him each and every step of the way, but he’s doing the right thing, and he knows that studying the iPhone — not ignoring it — is the only way to come back from the brink.