Nokia adjusts strategy, cuts 10,000 jobs, changes execs, buys Scalado, sells Vertu

Nokia has issued no less than four press releases today, which essentially say the same thing: the company is having a really bad time, from almost any angle you’re looking at it. But it’s not like we didn’t know this.

Anyway. The first thing that Nokia announced is that it’s making changes to its leadership team. As of June 30, 2012, Jerri DeVard will step down as executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Mary McDowell will no longer be executive vice president of Mobile Phones, and Niklas Savander is going to leave its position as executive vice president of Markets.

New execs, and their new positions, include: Juha Putkiranta (executive vice president of Operations), Timo Toikkanen (executive vice president of Mobile Phones), Chris Weber (executive vice president of Sales and Marketing), Tuula Rytila (senior vice president of Marketing and Chief Marketing Officer), and Susan Sheehan (senior vice president of Communications).

Stephen Elop will remain Nokia’s CEO.

To reduce costs, and return to profitability “as soon as possible”, Nokia will cut up to 10,000 jobs by the end of 2013. Three facilities will be shut down: in Salo (Finland), Ulm (Germany), and Burnaby (British Columbia, Canada).

In the immediate future, Nokia intends to “sharpen” its strategy by:

  • investing in products and experiences that make its Lumia Windows Phone handsets “stand out and available to more consumers”
  • investing “in location-based services as an area of competitive differentiation for Nokia products, and extending its location-based platform to new industries”
  • making its feature phone business more competitive and profitable (it’s already trying to do this with the new full-touch Asha devices)

To enhance its devices’ imaging capabilities, Nokia will acquire Scalado, a Swedish company that currently provides imaging software for more than 1 billion mobile phones. Together with Nokia’s own PureView technology, Scalado’s experience and intellectual property should allow the Finnish phone maker to offer truly great camera capabilities on its handsets. Financial details of the transaction – expected to be closed in Q3 2012 – have not been unveiled. Scalado’s latest product is Remove – “the world’s first Object removal software to be released on a mobile device.” You can see a quick demo of Remove in the video below:

Lastly, Nokia announced that it’s selling its luxury brand Vertu to EQT VI (“the leading private equity group in Northern Europe with close to EUR 18 billion in raised capital and multiple investment strategies”). EQT will acquire 90% of Vertu, while Nokia is retaining a minority shareholding of 10%. Vertu currently has about 1,000 employees, and EQT will help it “drive the development of the luxury mobile phone category through significant investments in retail expansion, marketing and product development.”

Nokia said it would unveil its full second quarter 2012 results on July 19.

You can read Nokia’s press releases from today here, here, here, and here.

Author: Florin

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  • Anonymous

    Given Microsoft’s recently announced commitment to support Nokia’s efforts to further drive down Window’s Phone price points, it makes sense that Nokia cut cost in areas where there is now redundancy. The strategy adjustment must be based on high confidence this can be achieved with Windows Phone, something Nokia must know at this stage. Clearly, the drive to bring WP into what had previously been foreseen as Meltemi territory means the end of this development…hence the departure of Mary McDowell. THis could actually prove very positive news for the MS ecosystem, since volumes are huge at these price points. It will also expose WP to a greater extent in emerging markets, where Meltemi was planned to replace Synbian and to some extent, S40. With S40 now covering slightly higher price points, given its full touch, swipe interface, it makes sense that there was no room left for Meltemi.