x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

First a job in fast food, then on to the fast track

Stephen Elop started his career if not actually wringing chicken necks, then at least masterminding the software needed to turn poultry into profits.

Stephen Elop started his career if not actually wringing chicken necks, then at least masterminding the software needed to turn poultry into profits. He was chief information officer for the US fast food chain Boston Chicken, which was later taken over by McDonald's, from 1992 until 1998, before leaving to join the computer software company Macromedia Mr Elop left his position as chief executive of Macromedia to spend just over a year at the computer software company Adobe Systems before becoming chief operating officer at Juniper Networks, a computer networking company, where he also spent just over a year.

In January 2008, Mr Elop became a Microsoft executive and headed the software giant's move into the new technology of cloud computing. During this period, he also helped to broker a software partnership deal between Microsoft and Nokia. Relatively unknown outside the IT sector, Mr Elop was considered a surprise choice to head up Nokia. Born on December 31 1963 in Ancaster, Ontario, and a computer engineering and management graduate of McMaster University in Ontario, Mr Elop claims to have immersed himself in Finnish culture. In common with most Finnish executives he is a devoted family man with a stable home background. He is married with five children, including triplets.

Since taking over the job of Nokia chief executive last month, he has been faced with the daunting task of taking on Nokia's new competitors such as Apple, which has drastically redesigned the mobile phone factor with its touch-screen iPhone and thousands of downloadable software applications.