Nokia continues to go through tough times, as the company’s attempts to re-make itself struggle on. Today it announced a shake-up of several of its top managers, as well as another big round of layoffs.
Last year, as consumers’ interest in Symbian waned, the Finnish phone maker made a dramatic shift — after enjoying many years as the biggest maker of Symbian handsets, it was moving to Microsoft’s Windows Phone as the operating system for its smartphones.
Although company execs made it clear at the time that Nokia was prepared for a difficult transition period, the reality has to have been worse than expected. Although sales of the Lumia line in the U.S. have met or exceeded expectations, Europe has been a different story, leading to multiple rounds of layoffs that have cost many thousands of people their jobs.
The latest of these was announced today — Nokia is cutting another 10,000 employees, a move that will be complete by the end of 2013. When these cuts are finalized, Nokia will have laid off one-third of all its employees from 2010.
Execs Getting Pink Slips Too
It’s not just average employees who are getting escorted to the door. Three top-level executives will be out by the end of this month.
Nokia’s executive VP of mobile phones Mary McDowell, chief marketing officer Jerri Devard, and executive VP of markets Niklas Savander have all been shown their walking papers. They will be replaced by Timo Toikkanen, who will be in charge of mobile phones; Juha Putkiranta, who will be executive VP of Operations; and Chris Weber is going to be executive VP of Sales and Marketing.
And its not just executives who are on their way out. Vertu, Nokia’s line of luxury phones designed for the 1% is being sold to EQT VI, a European private equity firm.
Good Times Ahead?
While Nokia’s situation is hardly ideal, some analysts see room for optimism. IDC’s latest predictions for the future of the mobile market see Windows Phone becoming the second-most popular operating systems for smartphones, grabbing about 20% of the global market and beating out Apple’s iOS. If this market-analysis firm turns out to be correct, then Nokia will be sitting pretty.
This process might begin later this year. Microsft is going to introduce a new version of Windows Phone in the fall (code-named “Apollo”) and Verizon has made clear that it’s going to throw its marketing muscle behind this initiative.