Nokia slashes 4,000 jobs, outsources Symbian to Accenture

Nokia revealed the impact that its partnership with Microsoft to use Windows Phone 7 will have on its workforce, and announce 4,000 job cuts. Additionally, 3,000 employees working on the Symbian platform will be transferred in an outsourcing deal with Accenture as part of an overall move to reduce annual spending by €1 billion.

Nokia workers in Denmark, Finland and the UK will be hit with the majority of headcount reductions, with the company also planning to consolidate its R&D sites--expanding some whilst reducing or closing others.

The company also announced that all Symbian software activity will be transferred to Accenture. Plans are expected to be finalised within months, with workers being reassigned by the end of this year. Workforces in China, Finland, India, the UK and US are said to be impacted.

"We have new clarity around our path forward," Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said in a statement. "We are working closely with our employees and partners to identify long-term re-employment programmes for the talented people of Nokia."

All the affected employees have the option to remain on Nokia's payroll until the end of 2011, with workforce reductions being phased through until the end of 2012, linked to the launch of new Windows Phone products and services. Interestingly, the company hired around 5,000 staff last year, bringing the total to over 130,000.

While Nokia's share price rose by around 4 per cent on this news, CSS Insight analyst, Ben Wood, told Bloomberg that the Symbian outsourcing move was a big surprise. "Nokia is moving quickly to transition Symbian out of the company in order to ensure complete focus on Windows Phone 7. This is the beginning of the long and painful journey."

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this Reuters article

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