Bartleby

Crossed lines

Nokia’s saga is a tale of management hubris and a weak board

IT IS A tale that might have been written by Shakespeare. It features hubris, nemesis and partial redemption, as well as clashing personalities and losses in the billions of dollars. And it all takes place in the most unlikely of dramatic settings: a Finnish boardroom.

Risto Siilasmaa is the chairman of Nokia, which is today a very different and much smaller company than in 2008 when he joined its board as a non-executive director. His book* recounts the gripping saga of how Nokia was driven out of the mobile-phone business it dominated, and had to reinvent itself.

When Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, Nokia at first seemed to view it as a niche competitor with a high price-tag that would capture only a small slice of the market. After all…