What we missed in the festive season
Happy New Year all!
So after a blissful two weeks off, I have returned to my desk as many of you have with emails up to my eyeballs and a few stories that have made those eyes water as the networking and telecoms industries ignored the Christmas break and carried on moving.
First up was the news on Christmas Eve that former BlackBerry CEO and co-founder Mike Lazaridis was selling off $26m of his stock in the struggling mobile manufacturer and backing away from a proposed take-over deal with fellow co-founder Doug Fregin.
Lazaridis had owned 5.7% of the firm's shares at the end of 2012 but, together with Fregin, had upped this to 8%. In October the pair submitted a security filing hinting at a possible takeover of the firm.
However, a subsequent filing on 24 December showed Lazaridis shares had fallen to under 5% and he had terminated a contract with Goldman Sachs and Centerview Partners who he had hired to look into the acquisition.
Another withdrawal story also broke over the Christmas period with Nokia announcing the departure of its executive chairman for the Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN) business, Jesper Ovesen.
He joined the firm in 2011 during the joint venture days with Siemens but will be moving on as soon as Nokia's deal to sell off its devices business to Microsoft closes. A shame as he has helped build its success, but I still think the company has a strong future in new leadership.
Finally, my favourite story of the past two weeks has to be about Ed Vaizey admitting his own incompetence. Following a Sky News party, the minister for communications was overheard agreeing with one of his aides that he was "completely useless."
This gave the shadow culture minister Dan Jarvis a perfect opportunity to dig at him for his performance in areas like the broadband roll-out, calling it "utterly pedestrian."
Yes, it was more than likely taken out of context and after a fair few glasses of bubbles, but it is nice to hear a government minister speaking with the people's voice for a change...
So, now we are in 2014 and there is surely much to come from the industry, with Cisco's next conference just a few weeks away and Mobile World Congress looming in February, to name just a few high profile events.
What are your thoughts for the coming year? Anything you will be keeping an eye on? It would be great to hear from you.
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