Nokia gets rid of 10K jobs and Vertu

Union steward Jarmo Talvitie talks to the media while Nokia employees leave after a personnel briefing in Tampere, Finland, on June 14, 2012 (AFP Photo/Lehtikuva/Jukka Töyli)
It’s all change at Finnish mobile maker Nokia as it struggles to stoke its financial performance: the company plans to cut as many as 10,000 jobs along with reshuffling management team selling its Vertu luxury handset business.

­The company said it is going to “closely assess the future of certain non-core assets” such as Vertu.   Nokia has agreed to sell 90% of Vertu to Swedish private equity firm EQT. The deal is expected to be completed in the second half of 2012, but no further details were disclosed.

Nokia also announced it will close its plants in Finland, Germany and Canada cutting up to 10,000 jobs round the world by 2013, which accounts for a fifth of the total workforce. The Nokia Siemens joint venture is going to cut 17,000 positions worldwide by 2013.

The cuts are aimed at saving Nokia about 1.6 billion euros. The company expects to bring annual expenses at its mobile phone business to 3 billion euros comparing to 5.35 billion euros in 2010.

In the course of its “sharpening strategy” Nokia renewed its leadership team through appointing Juha Putkiranta as Executive Vice President of Operations, Timo Toikkanen as Executive Vice President of Mobile Phones, and Chris Weber as Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

Though Nokia’s latest smartphone Lumia 900 was quite successful with more than 2 million devices shipped in the first quarter, companywide sales fell as much as 24% during this period.  Nokia has also warned that the results at the second quarter would be worse than those of the Q1.

Nokia has lost more than $88 billion in market value since Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007. The Finnish company gave up its Symbian operating system and switched to Windows Mobile in order to compete with Apple and its main rival Google’s Android. Nokia’s operating margin for mobile phones fell to 3.7% last year comparing to more than 20% in 2007.

Nokia’s shares fell about 10% to 2 euros on Thursday. The company share price has lost 49% in the past 12 months.