Nokia to offer help in seeking new jobs for staff being cut
Elop discusses outplacement issues and other developments with economic journalists
Nokia employees who are are set to lose their jobs in connection with changes being made at the mobile phone company are to be helped by their former employer in seeking new employment.
In a presentation given to the Finnish Association of Economic journalists on Friday, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop gave indications that the company has discussed the matter behind the scenes with both its partners and its competitors.
Nokia announced earlier this month that it will soon introduce Microsoft Windows as the platform of its new mobile phones.
It is estimated that the number of people left without work because of the strategic change could be in the thousands.
Nokia has discussed its upcoming personnel changes with Finnish labour unions and the national government.
Elop says that discussions have also been held “with other large technology companies operating in different parts of the world, who could have a role, or a new role in Finland.”
“We have been in close contact with both our partners in cooperation and our competitors”, he added.
Noting is certain yet, and Elop did not want to discuss confidential discussions any further.
Nokia has not yet given detailed information about its personnel cuts.
Elop said on Friday that Nokia will continue to have employees in different parts of the world - in places where there is the best know-how for the needs of the company. He noted that Finland has a concentration of know-how for the mobile phone industry, adding that such concentrations exist elsewhere as well.
Elop said that Nokia’s main competitor is Google’s Android operating system; the platform has been increasingly been taken into use in handsets of different price ranges - not just in the most expensive smartphones.
Nokia’s strength has traditionally been a broad range of handsets from cheap entry-level models to the most sophisticated.
Elop also painted grim pictures of the effect that Android might have in the whole field.
It has been feared that profit margins in the mobile telephone business will shrink in much the same way as those of computer manufacturers did.
When personal computers started using the same operating system and became mutually compatible, price competition became more intense.
Elop warns that if Android spreads to mobile telephones of all manufacturers, there is all the more reason to fear that telephones will become less distinguishable from one another.
“We considered this seriously when we made the decision [to go with Microsoft] ”, he said.
In Elop’s view, any move by a large company like Nokia would have had a key influence on the degree to which this development is realised.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Tossing and turning: Nokiás conflicting statements in 2010 (18.2.2011)
Nokia CEO Elop: Use of Windows platform will strengthen Nokia (17.2.2011)
Nokiás new strategy prompts suspicions among investors and consumers alike (15.2.2011)
More than 1,000 Nokia employees walk out in Tampere in protest at Symbian phase-out (11.2.2011)