Nokia Slashes 7000 Jobs in Major Strategy Shift

Nokia is “outsourcing” development of its Symbian OS to Accenture and making massive job cuts, as the handset manufacturer concentrates its efforts on Windows Phone 7.

The Finnish manufacturer says 3,000 of its employees will be transferred to Accenture to continue working on the OS, which Nokia chief Stephen Elop has admitted has no long-term future on smartphones.

Accenture will provide “Symbian-based software development and support services” to Nokia, although the consultancy firm’s efforts won’t be confined to the fading operating system. It will also provide software and services for Windows Phone 7, becoming “the preferred partner for Nokia’s smartphone development activities, as well as a preferred provider of services.”

The 3,000 Nokia employees are located around the globe, in countries such as China, and among others Nokia’s homeland Finland.

However, Nokia has also announced plans to cut 4,000 jobs worldwide, with the bulk of the job losses coming in the UK, Denmark and Finland. Nokia says all the employees being made redundant “can stay on the payroll through the end of 2011”, with the job cuts being made gradually through 2012.

Elop said the job cuts were inevitable. “At Nokia, we have new clarity around our path forward, which is focused on our leadership across smart devices, mobile phones and future disruptions,” he said.

“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 and Accenture have yet to reach a definitive agreement on the transfer of Symbian, but expect a final deal to be reached by the summer and for the transition to be completed by the end of this year.


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