Nokia announced yesterday it was laying off 300 employees as part of a massive restructuring announced in June last year. Another 820 employees are being transferred to HCL Technologies and TATA Consultancy Services for a total of 1,120 employees.
Most of the workers affected are in Finland, Nokia’s home country. Nokia has said that these will be the last layoffs of about 10,000 jobs it set out to eliminate last year, to better fit its reduced global footprint and diminished fortunes.
Nokia was the world’s largest vendor of mobile phones from 1998 to 2012. They then entered into a partnership with Microsoft to use Windows Phone 8 exclusively and discard its own Symbian phone OS. As users abandoned the old platform in droves, sales and market share subsequently crumbled under pressure from the iPhone and Android-based phones even as they ramped up their Lumia offerings.
As a result, its share price fell from a high of $40 in 2007 to under $3 in 2012 and in December 2012, Nokia sold its headquarters, Nokia House, for $222 million and leased it back to save money.
From being on life support last year with serious doubts about ever recapturing any of its past glories, some good news has emerged regarding the Lumia line. Nokia sold more units than they expected in December and sales of the Nokia Lumia line rose by more than 50% in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Nokia’s Latest Jump in Lumia Sales Uplifts Windows Phone 8
Last week, Stephen A. Elop, Nokia’s new chief executive, announced that Nokia finally made a profit on the back of strong sales of its Nokia Lumia line and sales rose by more than 50% in the fourth quarter of 2012.
He also announced that Nokia would make a 2% profit instead of the expected loss of 10%. With the streamlining of Nokia’s global operations and stronger sales in 2012, the company may be well-placed to eke out greater market share this year.