SAN JOSE, Calif. - Troubled cell-phone giant Nokia is shedding 7,000 jobs and has announced plans to transfer its Symbian software activities to Accenture.
Under the plan, Nokia will outsource its Symbian software activities and transition about 3,000 employees to Accenture. The companies expect completion of the final agreement during summer 2011, and expect the transition of employees by the end of the calendar year 2011.
Transitioning employees, located in China, Finland, India, United Kingdom and the United States, 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 also plans to reduce its global workforce by about 4,000 employees by the end of 2012,
These measures are part of Nokia's target to reduce its Devices & Services operating expenses by 1 billion euros for the full year 2013 in comparison to the full year 2010.
Nokia also plans to consolidate the company's research and product development sites. All employees affected by the reduction plans can stay on the Nokia payroll through the end of 2011.
"At Nokia, we have new clarity around our path forward, which is focused on our leadership across smart devices, mobile phones and future disruptions," said Stephen Elop, Nokia president and CEO, in a statement. "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."
Elop, a former Microsoft vice president who joined Nokia in September, recently announced a broad corporate reorganization including plans for a significant but unspecified number of layoffs.
As reported, Nokia's new strategy, built on adopting Windows Phone as its primary smartphone platform, is a huge win for Microsoft but raises several questions about the long term leadership of the Finnish cellphone giant.
Microsoft gains the world's largest cellphone maker as a lead partner for establishing Windows Phone, a promising but late-to-market smartphone operating system. However, Nokia will have to be content with being just one of Microsoft's partners for a strategic platform that launched in October with handsets from rising players including Samsung and HTC.