Nokia to axe 4,000 jobs

Mobile phone maker Nokia to cut 4,000 jobs worldwide from its 65,000-strong workforce – including 700 in the UK

Nokia, once indisputably the world's largest mobile phone company, will lay off 4,000 people worldwide by the end of next year as it attempts to cut costs after falling behind rivals in the smartphone market.

Most of the job cuts will be in Denmark, Finland and Britain, with 700 roles being axed in the UK. The company said talks with employees had already begun.

Nokia, which employs 65,000 people worldwide, also announced that it will transfer some 3,000 employees to Accenture as it shifts the development of the Symbian platform used in Nokia phones to the consulting firm.

The company attempted to put a positive spin on the news and insisted that the Symbian employees located in China, Finland, India, the UK and the United States will continue to develop the software and services for Nokia and "over time, Accenture and Nokia will seek opportunities to retrain and redeploy transitioned employees".

The announcements came as Nokia, which has around 2,400 staff in the UK, called workers in several cities for briefings about company strategy as it begins a new partnership with Microsoft.

In a push to challenge rivals such as Apple and Google, Nokia and Microsoft announced in February that they are to join forces.

Nokia has in recent years been hit by stiff competition – first from Research in Motion's Blackberry, then Apple's iPhone and latterly Google's Android – and has been criticised as being slow to react to the latest mobile phone trend. It has said it plans to cut operating expenses by €1bn (£885m) by 2013.

Nokia's share price jumped more than 3% on the news.


Simon Goodley

The GuardianTramp

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