Behind the Scenes of Microsoft’s Nokia Acquisition

Nick Wingfield, reporting for the NYT Bits blog:

Microsoft and Nokia decided to reconvene over Memorial Day weekend in May at the London offices of Simpson Thacher, one of Microsoft’s law firms, when a small disaster struck.

Mr. Ballmer and Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel, were walking across the law firm’s lobby, when Mr. Ballmer — absorbed in reading a document from Nokia related to the deal — tripped on a glass coffee table. Letting out a loud shriek, Mr. Ballmer fell to floor, hit his head and began bleeding above his eyebrow.

Executives from Nokia sequestered in a conference room elsewhere in the offices were baffled by the sound, wondering whether Mr. Ballmer was reacting badly to a counter-proposal they had made. His security detail patched him up, and Mr. Ballmer resumed negotiations.

By the afternoon of the next day, participants in the discussions noticed the coffee table was gone.

A bloody mess, both literally and figuratively.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013