On Friday, Finnish telecom equipment giant Nokia confirmed earlier rumors of another round of job cuts in its home country. The former leader of the global mobile handset industry said that there will be at least around 1,032 redundancies in its home country by 2018 as part of its recently-undertaken restructuring program, which started last month and is expected to go on for the better part of the next two years. The company is looking to implement cost-cutting measures to save around €900 million ($1 billion) in operating cost synergies from the recent Alcatel-Lucent acquisition, and the jobs that will be lost are at the company’s Espoo, Oulu and Tampere facilities in Finland. Nokia currently has over 104,000 employees worldwide, including about 6,850 in Finland.
Even as Nokia’s telecom equipment business is looking to shed jobs, the company is looking to make a much-awaited comeback into the world of mobile handsets after having sold off that part of its business to Microsoft back in 2014 after years of lackadaisical sales and mounting losses. Not only has the company officially announced its intention of re-entering the mobile devices business, it has also clarified that it will be doing so with Android as its platform of choice. Towards that end, Nokia has formed an all-new company, called HMD Global Oy, which will look after the day-to-day running of the company’s phone business. Nokia, meanwhile, is expected to provide HMD with rights to use the Nokia branding on its mobile devices and the full use of its array of licenses, in exchange of royalty payments. The new company is also expected to invest heavily in marketing the Nokia brand globally.
While Nokia will not actually be manufacturing handsets anymore, the newly-formed company’s mandate will be to make sure that “all Nokia-branded products exemplify consumer expectations of Nokia devices, including quality, design and consumer-focused innovation”. While that sort of hands-on quality control will hopefully be able to retain the build quality and reliability that brand Nokia is remembered for, it remains to be seen whether the current setup will be able to replicate the success of the Nokia of old and help the company turn a new leaf in its long and illustrious history.