Nokia axes 4,000 jobs; Gives Symbian to Accenture

Apr 27, 2011
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Nokia warned that the shift to Windows Phone would result in "substantial reductions in employment" and now the first significant signs of those job losses are being seen. Around 4,000 employees worldwide - though predominantly in Denmark, Finland and the UK - will be axed by the end of 2012, while around 3,000 will be shunted over to Accenture as part of a new deal to transfer Symbian software development there. Accenture will become a "preferred provider" of mobility software and other services for Nokia's Windows Phone range.

Nokia will also attempt to streamline its R&D processes, hopefully cutting down on the development timelines that some have accused of being behind the company's sluggish reactions to the changing smartphone market. R&D will be consolidated with some sites expanded and some reduced or even closed, "so that each site has a clear role and mission."

Windows Phone devices will begin to show up in 2012, and while that's good news for Nokia and Microsoft, it will be bad news for employees losing their jobs as the redundancies are expected to take place "in phases until the end of 2012, linked to the roll-out of Nokia's planned product and services portfolio."

Ex-Nokians will be offered re-employment support and retraining. "This is a difficult reality," CEO Stephen Elop says, "and we are working closely with our employees and partners to identify long-term re-employment programs for the talented people of Nokia."

Press Release:

Nokia starts measures to align workforce and site operations with new strategy

Espoo, Finland - To deliver on its new strategy, Nokia today 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.

Press Release:

Nokia announces plans to transfer Symbian software activities to Accenture; Accenture to provide future smartphone ecosystem services to Nokia

Espoo, Finland and New York, US - Nokia (NYSE: NOK) and Accenture (NYSE: ACN) today announced plans for a strategic collaboration in which Nokia would outsource its Symbian software activities and transition about 3,000 employees to Accenture. At the same time, Accenture would provide mobility software services to Nokia for future smartphones.

The collaboration, which is subject to final agreement, calls for Accenture to provide Symbian-based software development and support services, with the expected transition of about 3,000 Nokia employees to Accenture. The companies expect completion of the final agreement during summer 2011, and expect the transition of employees by the end of the calendar year 2011. Transitioning employees, located in China, Finland, India, United Kingdom and the United States, will initially work on Symbian software activities for Nokia. Over time, Accenture and Nokia will seek opportunities to retrain and redeploy transitioned employees.

This collaboration also includes plans for Accenture to provide mobility software, business and operational services around the Windows Phone platform to Nokia and other ecosystem participants. Under the proposed agreement, Accenture would become a preferred partner for Nokia's smartphone development activities, as well as a preferred provider of services.

"Mobility is a key area for Accenture," said Marty Cole, chief executive, Accenture Communications and High Tech group. "This collaboration with Nokia will enhance our ability to help clients across multiple industries leverage mobility to advance their business agendas. It is a real win-win for Accenture and Nokia".

"This collaboration demonstrates our ongoing commitment to enhance our Symbian offering and serve our smartphone customers," said Jo Harlow, executive vice president for Smart Devices, Nokia. "As we move our primary smartphone platform to Windows Phone, this transition of skilled talent to Accenture shows our commitment to provide our Symbian employees with potential new career opportunities."

Accenture and Nokia have been working together since 1994. In October 2009, Accenture acquired Nokia's professional services unit that provides engineering and support of the Symbian operating system to mobile device manufacturers and service providers, and which then served as a key building block in Accenture's Mobility services portfolio.


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