Nokia Transfers Symbian Ownership, Sheds 7,000 Jobs

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Nokia announced Wednesday that it will be laying off some 7,000 employees in its ongoing efforts to reorganize around smartphones powered by Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7. All told Nokia said it would cut some 4,000 positions from its worldwide operations and transfer another 3,000 jobs to Accenture, the corporate entity taking over Nokia’s old OS, Symbian.

Nokia has faced a triple assault on its global domination of the smartphone business from Google’s Android platform, Apple’s iPhone empire, and Research In Motion’s BlackBerry corporate tool. Nokia once owned more than 50% of the global smartphone market, a market in which Nokia was a leading pioneer, but the company has watched its market share slip faster than you can say “When will Apple release the white iPhone 4?”

“At Nokia, we have new clarity around our path forward, which is focused on our leadership across smart devices, mobile phones and future disruptions,” Stephen Elop, Nokia president and CEO, said 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.”

In February of this year, Nokia and Microsoft announced a surprise agreement that has the Finnish mobile giant ditching Symbian OS in favor of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7. The move indicated that Nokia didn’t feel it could compete with Android/iOS/BlackBerry using Symbian, and it also dramatically reduces Nokia’s cost structure, as it transitions into more of a hardware developer, while Microsoft develops Windows Phone 7.

Which is why the company is undertaking the restructuring announced Wednesday. With Microsoft doing the heavy lifting on the software side, Nokia simply doesn’t need as many employees. The company said it expects both the employee shifts to Accenture to be complete by the end of calendar 2011. Employees affected by the layoffs will remain on the payroll through 2011, while the company conducts the layoffs in phases through the end of 2012.

Nokia said it expects to save €1 billion (US$1.48 billion) in development costs in 2013 compared to what the company spent in 2010 with the changes.

Out of respect for those employees and workers facing the loss of their jobs, we will resist all our impulses to make any jokes about Foxconn accepting applications.

Nokia Reorg

Comments

geoduck

Lambs to the slaughter.
First Microsoft. Now they are dealing with Accenture. I’ve worked with a couple of projects where Accenture was involved. I don’t trust them as far as I can throw them. IMO Nokia is in way over their head and is going to get eaten alive.

Ion_Quest

Seems strange to me that the relatively new head of Nokia would announce that the platform was ‘in flames’ while they were still near the top in total phone sales.  Then to announce they’d have a replacement platform ready in a year or two.  Wonder if he made personal $$$ from the MS deal.  Pure speculation.  Business 101?

BurmaYank

First Microsoft. Now they are dealing with Accenture. I?ve worked with a couple of projects where Accenture was involved. I don?t trust them as far as I can throw them. IMO Nokia is in way over their head and is going to get eaten alive.

Two subsidiaries of Accenture caught mt attention:
- Avanade began as a joint venture between Microsoft and Accenture, but is now well over 80% owned by Accenture. It provides IT consulting services and solutions for the Microsoft software platform.
- Accenture Mobility Operated Services is a subsidiary of Accenture, which helps enterprises develop and deploy new revenue-generating mobile applications.

I’m wondering if their roles in this transfer of Symbian over to Accenture might actually make this “transfer” more of an in-house MS/Nokia shell-game than it might appear initially; Accenture might actually become transformed into an equal partner in a new MS/Nokia/Accenture juggernaught with which to besiege the enterprise’ mobile market

dhp

Egads. Accenture is one of the most bland and vague corporation names I’ve ever heard. I’m shocked to read on Wikipedia that the name was not created by a corporate identity consultancy, but by a single human employee.

Lee Dronick

Accenture is one of the most bland and vague corporation names I?ve ever heard. I?m shocked to read on Wikipedia that the name was not created by a corporate identity consultancy, but by a single human employee.

From the Wikipedia entry: The word “Accenture” is supposedly derived from “Accent on the future”... Accenture felt that the name should represent its will to be a global consulting leader and high performer, and also intended that the name should not be offensive in any country in which Accenture operates.

I guess that they succeeded in not being offensive. It sounds more like a furniture store than a tech business. Avanade sounds like some sort of beverage.

In unrelated news the Windows Phone NoDo update is supposed to roll out in a few days.

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