April 28, 2009

Nokia To Eliminate 450 Jobs

Finland-based Nokia said on Tuesday that it plans to eliminate 450 jobs worldwide as the company moves to reorganize its services unit.

The world's leading mobile phone maker also plans to restructure its corporate development office, including its internal information technology group and some industry collaboration initiatives.

"Altogether, approximately 450 employees globally will be impacted by the plans announced today, of which a maximum of 100 in Finland," Nokia said in a statement, adding that it would continue to seek company-wide savings.

As of the end of March, Nokia had 124,000 employees, or 64,000 excluding its joint venture with Siemens.

The staff reductions "will impact mainly employees in Europe and North America, but it is too early to be more precise," Eija-Riitta Huovinen, a Nokia spokeswoman, told AFP.

Nokia's services unit, which current employs about 3,200 people, develops Internet services for mobile phones, including games and mapping services.

Niklas Savander, who leads Nokia's services business, said the company would increasingly offer to its customers new services developed by partners and other firms.

Nokia had previously announced the elimination of more than 3,000 jobs since January as part of a substantial cost-reduction initiative. The move included some 1,000 voluntary departure packages.

The company launched the program last January to generate more than $910 million in savings each year.

Earlier this month, Nokia reported a 90-percent decline in its first-quarter net profit to $160 million as fewer consumers bought low-cost mobile phones amid the global recession.

At the time, Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo said, "it is too early to say that end-consumer demand has hit the bottom," although there were some indications of improving market conditions.


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