The move follows the Finnish phone maker’s recent alliance with Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and strategic shift to the Windows Phone operating system. (See Nokia Puts Microsoft Strategy Into Action , Nokia Unveils Major Revamp and Symbian Is Dead. Long Live Windows Phone.)
Nokia, which has 65,000 employees worldwide (not including Nokia Networks ), said it plans to cut 4,000 jobs by the end of 2012 and that most of the reductions would be in Denmark, Finland and the U.K.
As part of this cost-reduction process, the company said it also expects to consolidate some of its research and development sites -- closing some facilities while expanding others -- but it did not specify which locations would be affected.
Nokia also said today it will transfer an additional 3,000 employees to Accenture as part of an outsourcing agreement for Symbian software. Accenture will provide Symbian-based software development and support services.
Those 3,000 Nokia employees are expected to be transferred to Accenture by the end of 2011 and are located in China, Finland, India, the U.K. and the U.S. According to the press statement, these employees will initially work on "Symbian software activities for Nokia. Over time, Accenture and Nokia will seek opportunities to retrain and redeploy transitioned employees."
In total, Nokia will shed 7,000 employees from its workforce from the combination of job cuts and outsourcing Symbian to Accenture.
Why this matters
Even after its momentous agreement with Microsoft, Nokia still had to do something drastic, and this is it. These cost-cutting measures partly answer how Nokia was going to lop US$1.5 billion off its operating expenses by 2013. But the lingering question is -- will Nokia have to make deeper cuts?
As for Symbian, by handing over the development responsibility to Accenture, Nokia will be freed up to focus on Windows Phone.
Accenture appears to be as good a home as any for Symbian, considering that the two companies have been working together since 1994. Also, Accenture acquired Nokia’s professional services business in 2009, which provides engineering and support for the Symbian operating system to device manufacturers as well as service providers.
All the details of Nokia’s recent developments can be found right here:
- Nokia Unveils Major Revamp
- Nokia's 'Burning Platform' Memo
- Nokia Takes Back Symbian
- Nokia Asks Anna to Save Symbian
- CTIA 2011: Nokia Astounds With New Smartphone
- Symbian Is Dead. Long Live Windows Phone
- Nokia: How Microsoft Deal Could Fail
- Biggest Losers in NokiSoft: Developers
- Elop Promises Nokia Will Change Faster
- OS Watch: Verizon Bests AT&T With iPhone 4
— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile