Nokia to cut 3,500 jobs by 2012 in latest round of layoffs
Nokia announced it would cut 3,500 jobs in its second round of layoffs in the last six months as it restructures itself to use Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system in its products. The phone maker said the newest job cuts are tied to "manufacturing, Location & Commerce, and supporting functions."
The latest layoffs come in addition to 7,000 jobs cut in April when Nokia ended development of its Symbian operating system in favor of aligning with Microsoft. Symbian was the world's most popular smartphone operating system until Android dethroned it in the fourth quarter of 2010.
The newly announced job cuts will take place by 2012, Nokia said in a statement, and include the closure of a manufacturing plant in Cluj, Romania. The cuts will also affect jobs across Europe related to that plant's operations.
The jobs cut in the Finnish company's location and commerce divisions are related to Nokia's location, mapping and navigation services in Bonn, Germany, and Malvern, Pa. Nokia is planning on partnering with Microsoft for those services.
Nokia also said it was going to review the long-term role of its manufacturing operations in Salo, Finland, Komarom, Hungary, and Reynosa, Mexico, a process that could result in job losses in those locations early next year.
"These factories are expected to continue to play a key role in serving European and North American smartphone customers, but the plan is to gradually shift their focus to customer and market-specific software and sales package customization," Nokia said. "It is estimated this would have an impact on the number of personnel in 2012, with no impact in 2011. Nokia will engage in discussions with employee representatives and stakeholders in these sites, and expects to have more visibility into the possible headcount impacts in the first quarter of 2012."
Stephen Elop, Nokia's president and chief executive and a former Microsoft executive, said the job cuts will enable the company to make needed changes that should allow it to succeed in the long run.
"We are seeing solid progress against our strategy, and with these planned changes we will emerge as a more dynamic, nimble and efficient challenger," Elop said. "We must take painful, yet necessary, steps to align our workforce and operations with our path forward."
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Photo: Nokia employees leave a factory near Cluj, Romania, after a meeting to discuss the cellphone maker's latest round of layoffs. The job cuts will result in the closure of the plant, which opened four years ago. Credit: Mircea Rosca/Reuters