Nokia CEO Stephen Elop planning to cut thousands of jobs and people’s 4 week summer holiday [Update]

Americans might find this hard to believe, but in Finland people usually take one month off during the summer. We’re not making this up, people get four weeks of paid holiday to do whatever they want. You’d have to live here for one whole year and experience what six months of winter can do to your mind and body to appreciate why things are the way they are. During that month Nokia stops functioning. The guys on top go to their summer cottages, the geeks who do the grunt work unplug their laptops and get some much needed fresh air, and the folks in the marketing department offload their creative duties to a foreign agency while they go mountain biking or picnicking.

Stephen Elop, Nokia’s new CEO, doesn’t like this and he’s looking to change the system. What he doesn’t realize is that he’s going to go up against unions that will no doubt tell their members to strike. Elop’s relationship with the unions isn’t even on good terms right now since sources at Bloomberg say he plans on cutting 16,000 employees globally. Most of those are software engineers that are no longer needed since Microsoft will be doing all the heavy lifting by making an operating system and sprinkling a few internet services on top.

We’re half a year into Stephen Elop’s reign at Nokia and while we wish he could have done more it’s obvious that he was put in power to shake things up. It’s going to be at least another year, maybe even year and a half, to fully appreciate all the tweaks he’s been putting in place, and even Nokia has said as much, deeming 2011 and 2012 as “transitionary years”. Can’t help but wonder, while Nokia is transitioning just how much innovating can Apple and Google during the same amount of time?

Update: We initially reported that Elop would be cutting 16,000 jobs from Nokia, and that is incorrect. The original quote by Bloomberg is as follows, “The talks will deal with pruning a 16,000-strong global development team in the shift to Windows. Elop said Feb. 11 there will be ‘substantial’ job cuts.”

The team of 16,000 will be trimmed – substantially, according to the report – but will not be cut altogether.

  • Vulcan

    Since I was born here in Finland, and having lived in Europe all my life, I can tell you this: In most of the Western European countries the holidays are as long as here in Finland. We are not an exception, and from our viewpoint the USA and Japan are just that. It is not Elop´s decision here, the law is clear and no company can change that. For people that have been working over 2 years (w/ same employer), the holiday is 5 weeks per year (typically 4 in summer and 1 in winter, but that is not regulated and you can have it in 5 pieces if you like and employer accepts it).

    What Elop can do, is spread the holidays over longer period of time so that not everyone is simultaneously on vacation. But many Nokia employees have work phones on and many do work during vacations even that is not generally good since you do not get the deserved rest if you manage work related tasks during vacations.

  • Hvanderspek

    For your information, about all Europeans have 3 or 4 weeks of holiday each year. It is good for the company when you return refreshed after that time-off. Everybody happy.

    • if it’s not even 5 weeks 🙂
      I’m so waiting the summer time lol

  • Eumel

    Baaaaaam Nokia will destroy itself in a few Years. Damn bullshit, Elop!

  • Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. KEEP THOSE VACATIONS.

    Because Microsoft is insisting on Windows 7 for tablets, put those engineers on extending WP7 for tablets if license allows it or extend Meego for tablets. NOKIA HAS TO HAVE A TABLET STRATEGY.

  • Jes

    I doubt he is that stupid. 5 weeks of annual holiday is written in law for employees with more than one year in the company. Furthermore 4 weeks of this holiday has to be offered during summertime. At least two weeks of the holiday has to be kept without interruptions.

    Nokia has offered longer holidays as a reward for long-time employees.

  • Anonymous

    Five weeks vacation? I haven’t had that much time off since I was in school. Also, I don’t want that much time off.

  • Goofy Beetle

    Elop seems to be naive or misquoted. You must understand european culture to give statements like that.

  • Hviitala

    The original Bloomberg comment is “The talks will deal with pruning a 16,000-strong global development team in the shift to Windows.”. Not to cut 1600 people!

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Hviitala. Although we don’t comment on rumor or speculation, the rehash of the Bloomberg story and the headline are off the mark. Your restatement of what the newswire reported is accurate.

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