Nokia to cut 7,000 jobs, stop developing Symbian operating system
Nokia is cutting 7,000 jobs worldwide by 2012 in a move that will also result in development of its Symbian mobile operating system being taken over by the outsourcing firm Accenture.
The Finnish phone maker said Wednesday, in announcing the jobs cuts, that the decisions should reduce its operating expenses by $1.47 billion in 2013 when compared with 2010.
Of the 7,000 jobs that will be slashed from Nokia's workforce, 4,000 will be layoffs and 3,000 workers will become employees of Accenture in the deal that will give that company control of Symbian development.
The 3,000 workers who will be moved from Nokia to Accenture will be those who worked on Symbian, which was the globe's most widely used mobile OS until it was dethroned by Android in the final quarter of 2010.
Nokia said it began discussions with employee representatives on Wednesday and that "all employees affected by the reduction plans can stay on the Nokia payroll through the end of 2011."
The world's largest maker of mobile phones said it expected the job reductions to "occur in phases until the end of 2012, linked to the roll-out of Nokia's planned product and services portfolio."
The planned product and service portfolio, the company said, will be largely made up of new phones running Microsoft's Windows Phone software. Nokia and Microsoft have said the Windows Phone deal will be worth billions of dollars for both firms.
Nokia also plans to "consolidate the company's research and product development sites so that each site has a clear role and mission" with an expansion of some sites and the shrinking or shutter of others.
"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's president and chief executive in a statement. "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."
Neither Nokia nor Accenture, a New York-based company, disclosed the financial terms of the Symbian deal.
Accenture said in a statement that it is going to "provide mobility software, business and operational services around the Windows Phone platform to Nokia and other ecosystem participants."
Accenture also made no promises on Wednesday that it would keep all of the 3,000 Nokia employees it will take on as it takes over Symbian.
"Transitioning employees, located in China, Finland, India, United Kingdom and the United States, will initially work on Symbian software activities for Nokia," Accenture said. "Over time, Accenture and Nokia will seek opportunities to retrain and redeploy transitioned employees."
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Photo: Nokia's flagship store in Helsinki, Finland. The company announced it is cutting 7,000 jobs. Credit: Markku Ulander / AFP/Getty Images