By Marcus Leach
One of the world's leading mobile phone companies, Nokia, are set to lay off 7000 staff members as they look to turn their focus to smartphones.
To deliver on its new strategy, Nokia have announced plans to align its global workforce and consolidate site operations. These measures are part of Nokia's target to reduce its Devices & Services non-IFRS operating expenses by 1 billion euros for the full year 2013 in comparison to the full year 2010, as announced last week.
Earlier today, Nokia announced plans to form a strategic collaboration with Accenture that would result in the transfer of Nokia's Symbian software activites, including about 3,000 employees to Accenture.
In addition, Nokia also plans to reduce its global workforce by about 4,000 employees by the end of 2012, with the majority of reductions in Denmark, Finland and the UK. In accordance with country-by-country legal requirements, discussions with employee representatives started today.
Nokia also plans to consolidate the company's research and product development sites so that each site has a clear role and mission. Nokia expects the expansion of some sites and the contraction or closure of others.
All employees affected by the reduction plans can stay on the Nokia payroll through the end of 2011. Nokia expects personnel reductions to occur in phases until the end of 2012, linked to the roll-out of Nokia's planned product and services portfolio. During this period, Nokia intends to ramp up its capacity for the development of Nokia smartphones based on the Windows Phone platform, the company's broad range of mobile phones and its services portfolio.
"At Nokia, we have new clarity around our path forward, which is focused on our leadership across smart devices, mobile phones and future disruptions," said Stephen Elop, Nokia president and CEO.
"However, with this new focus, we also will face reductions in our workforce. This is a difficult reality, and we are working closely with our employees and partners to identify long-term re-employment programs for the talented people of Nokia."
Nokia is launching a comprehensive social responsibility program for employees and the communities likely to be affected by the personnel reductions. The program will be led locally, with local partners and stakeholders, and senior management support.
"We are offering those who are losing their jobs a range of options, from individual re-employment support and re-training to making investments to promote innovation and working with a variety of partners to create new opportunities," Elop continued.