Madhavi Tumkur
Oct 22, 2010

Nokia shares are up but CEO to slash 1,800 jobs

GLOBAL - Less than a month after new CEO Steve Elop took to the helm at Nokia, he has confirmed he will be looking to axe 1,800 jobs as part of his mission to streamline operations.

Nokia down but not out
Nokia down but not out

In its third quarter earnings reported by Nokia, revenues for the mobile phone company rose by five per cent to 10.27 billion euros (approx US$14.35 billion).

While the increase in profit was driven by increase in units sales that was up by two per cent, it was Nokia’s Symbian smartphone sales that impressed the shareholders most with a surge of 61 per cent year-on-year.

But despite the strong profit earnings, CEO Steve Elop announced that he would “fire 1,800 people to improve gross margins and streamline operation”. Nokia, of course regards this to be a small part of its 131,553  employee base worldwide, and aims to streamline certain corporate functions and corporate research activities.

The streamlining will be predominantly for its Symbian smartphones segment, for which Nokia would look to renew product creation and reduce the time taken to reach the market.

In Asia, the mobile phone company has remained a dominant player. According to recent research by In Mobi, Nokia dominated the Asian share of impressions with 61 per cent with Sony a distant second at 14 per cent.

In the smartphone market, Nokia leads in Asia with 36 per cent share of impressions followed by Symbian in second place. In contrast the iPhone market share stands at two per cent.

In terms of advertising, Symbian is making the largest impact with 84 per cent of impressions from Africa, Asia and Middle East.

The report also stated that the Symbian operating system (OS) leads in Malaysia with 37 per cent market share followed by Nokia with 15 per cent. Similarly, in Indonesia, Nokia and Symbian are leading OS with 38 and 23 per cent respectively. Nokia also owns the market in Indonesia with 60 per cent followed by Sony Ericcson at 22 per cent and other brands sharing the rest of the pie.

In a recent interview, EVP Niklas Savander vehemently stated, “We’re not going to apologise for the fact that we’re not Apple or Google or anybody else. We’re Nokia and we’re unique.”

As Nokia goes through a tough and challenging transition, it appears it has the gumption to fight back the likes of Apple, Google and Blackberrys and reassert its position in the global market.

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