HELSINKI, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) — The world’s largest mobile phone maker, Nokia announced on Friday it will form a strategic partnership with U.S. software giant Microsoft and use Microsoft’ s Windows phone software as its major platform in its smart phones.
Following its strategy shift announcement, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said in a London conference that Nokia plans to adjust leadership and make organizational change. There will be substantial reductions in employment in various locations around the world and that too will affect Finland. However he did not indicate any details on how many jobs will be cut.
Nokia’s new strategy will have a significant impact on the company’s operation and employment, especially on local jobs in Finland. Elop said that Nokia had preliminary consultation with the Finnish government about the planned structural change and reduction in research and development spending.
According to Finnish media reports, Minister for Economic Affairs Mauri Pekkarinen said on Friday that Nokia’s proposed structural changes could be a threat to large numbers of jobs in research and development in Finland. He said that this would be the biggest process of structural change that Finland has ever seen in the new technology sector, and the Finnish government has pledged to help soften the blow caused by job cuts.
Pekkarinen said that Nokia executives have pledged all necessary technical and financial resources to the restructuring process, and the goal is keep the transition as painless as possible, and help impacted employees to find new careers. He said that he firmly believes Nokia will continue to stay in Finland.
In an interview with the reporter of Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop rejected the speculation that Nokia would move out of Finland. He emphasize that Nokia has a lot of operation expertise in Finland,”Finland is our home and will remain our home.”
Finnish Prime Minister Mari Kiviniemi wrote in her blog on Friday that she saw Nokia’s move as a sign of crisis in the new technology industries in Finland. She thinks the change need to be turned in favor of Finland and Nokia’s new strategy shift is an opportunity to create new growth companies and new jobs in Finland.
On February 11, about 1,000 Nokia employees in the southern city Tampere in Finland staged a walkout to air their concerns over the fate of those working the Symbian mobile phone operating system. There are about 3,000 Nokia employees in Tampere, among them 1,500 jobs are related to Symbian operating system. According to the new strategy, Nokia will gradually step away from Symbian operation system.
After Nokia announced the strategic cooperation with Microsoft, its share price tumbled as much as 14 percent in Helsinki Stock Exchange.