Summary of Transforming Nokia

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  • Analytical
  • Applicable
  • Engaging


When entrepreneur Risto Siilasmaa became Nokia’s chairman in 2012, the company was a candidate for bankruptcy. In four years, he reinvented it as a profitable corporate dynamo. A seasoned planner, he details this transformation. Besides an engaging corporate history, Siilasmaa includes actionable advice, entrepreneurial leadership insights and his “paranoid optimism“ framework for business planning. He advises planning based on comprehensive data, careful analysis and “alternative future scenarios.” While noting that the author is reporting on his own accomplishments and those of his management team, he offers innovative leadership counsel, bold survival tactics and compelling management ideas.

About the Author

Chairman, founder and former CEO of F-Secure Corporation, Risto Siilasmaa has been Nokia's board chairman since 2012. His co-author is Catherine Fredman.




Nokia, a venerable Finnish firm and a global powerhouse – “Finland’s flagship company” – lost most of its market value, laid off thousands of workers, burned through nearly all of its operating capital and teetered on the edge of bankruptcy. But the company came back stronger than ever through bold new leadership, reinvention and transformation. Today, Nokia is one of the two most dominant “global digital communications infrastructure” firms in the world.

Author Risto Siilasmaa has served as Nokia’s board chairman since 2012 and was also interim CEO from 2013 to 2014. Siilasmaa recounts how, as Nokia’s chairman, he became the company’s lead strategist and negotiator in the effort to turn it around and make it into something new. 

Mobile Phones

Nokia invented the smartphone and by 2008 was the dominant operator in the mobile phone industry. Customers loved Nokia’s sleek, cutting-edge, feature-packed and nearly indestructible phones. Nokia sold so many mobile and smartphones that by 2000 it accounted for 4% of Finland’s GDP and nearly 20% ...

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