It's not every day that a bigwig CEO has to tamp down rumors that he's operating like an ancient Greek war machine or a malicious computer virus.
Oh, and Elop also reportedly owns about $3.17 million in Microsoft shares (supposedly making him the seventh-largest individual stock holder).
So really, when a random audience member stood up and yelled "Are you a Trojan Horse?" at the CEO during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Sunday, it was a pretty reasonable question.
Elop to Ballmer: "Get in my belly!"
Here's his response as reported by Engadget:
"I'll take that question. The obvious answer is no. We made sure that the entire management team was involved in the process, and of course the board of directors of Nokia are the only ones that can make this significant of a decision about Nokia. They made that final decision on Thursday night."
He also addressed his pimp-daddy stockholder status:
"About me being the seventh largest shareholder in Microsoft: that is not true. That would be a substantial amount of money that I don't have . . . When I moved from Microsoft from Nokia, I was legally prohibited from selling my shares. As soon as that lifted, I began selling. But when our discussions began, I had to stop selling again--the laws are very clear. As soon as the legal restrictions lift, of course I'll sell those shares. I have been given an equity position in Nokia."
Whatever, Elop. We know you're actually filled with tiny, sweaty Steve Ballmers ready to burst from your belly and bludgeon the gentle Finnish Nokia employees into lockstep submission.
Or maybe you and your board are simply saving the once-popular phone company from a path of inevitable irrelevance.
Yeah, I'm gonna go with the filled-with-tiny-Ballmers theory . . .