San Francisco - Microsoft is to drop the Nokia brand in favour of an as yet undecided new name for its smartphone division, Stephen Elop, former Nokia head and now the Executive Vice President of Microsoft's Devices Group said Monday.
Elop was speaking in an online forum just three days after Microsoft completed its 7-billion-dollar takeover of the smartphone company, which is the main manufacturer of phones running Microsoft's Windows Phone software.
Elop also discounted rumours that the new brand name for Nokia devices would be Microsoft Mobile, as had been widely reported in the tech press in the days leading up to the closure of the deal.
"Microsoft Mobile Oy is a legal construct that was created to facilitate the merger," Elop said. "It is not a brand that will be seen by consumers. The Nokia brand is available to Microsoft to use for its mobile phones products for a period of time, but Nokia as a brand will not be used for long going forward for smartphones."
"Work is underway to select the go forward smartphone brand," he added.
Elop, 50, was a top executive at Microsoft before moving to Nokia in 2010 and aligning it with Microsoft as a strategy to help it stem its market share loss to Apple and phones running Google's Android operating system.
But he denied suggestions that he had somehow maneuvered the situation to the benefit of Microsoft at the expense of Nokia. "I have only ever worked on behalf of and for the benefit of Nokia shareholders while at Nokia," Elop said. "Additionally, all fundamental business and strategy decisions were made with the support and approval of the Nokia board of directors, of which I was a member."