5 Most Controversial Memos In Tech History

#4 Stephen Elop

Shortly after joining Nokia, Elop issued a company internal memo titled “Burning Platform”, which was immediately leaked to the press. It stated, “While competitors (Apple, Samsung) poured flames on our market share, what happened at Nokia? We fell behind, we missed big trends, and we lost time.” The memo likened the 2010 situation of Nokia in the smartphone market to a person standing on a burning oil platform.

Media reception was mixed. Some have since remarked that the memo was a wake-up call for Nokia. BBC UK described it as “one of the most combustible and gripping documents ever to emerge from a major corporation,” and the Financial Times said “With its elegant writing style and brutal honesty, the 1,200-word missive is far removed from the average management pep talk.” The memo has also even been referenced as a guide for other business and political leaders.

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