Microsoft's US7.6b Nokia write-off - the new speed of company failure

Alex Pollak

Loftus Peak

About a month ago, Microsoft fired the last two executives entrusted with the Nokia vision, Stephen Elop and Jo Harlow. Last night it wrote off the entire US$7.6b it paid for Nokia just over a year ago. How could this happen so quickly? Companies are not living as long as they used to. A comparison between the 2014 and the 1995 Fortune lists of the top 100 companies reveals a startling fact; forty-four of the names have gone. The average lifespan of a company has dropped from around 60 years to under 20 years since 1960, as the chart below from MIT Technology Review shows. Since we are living longer, and so our retirement will last longer, a starting point for what to invest in might be: How long do companies live? Shorter – about 40 years shorter – than they used to. An extract from the upcoming essay "Retirement, Investment and the Internet: What you really must understand" Read more on our website (VIEW LINK)

Alex Pollak
Loftus Peak

CIO of Loftus Peak, a specialist global fund manager with a track record of successful investment in some of the world's fastest-growing listed businesses.

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