Yesterday one of my friends posted an image on Facebook of one of Nokia’s offices here in Finland. What made said image striking was that the Nokia logo that was once on the building had been removed. The Ruoholahti office, from what I remember back in my Nokia days, was where the Linux people worked. And by Linux I mean Maemo/MeeGo. It’s one thing for this company to declare that the future is Windows Phone, it’s another to shut down a perfectly good office building. When I asked Nokia to explain the situation, they sent me the following email:
“The lease agreement of the Nokia Ruoholahti premises in Itämerenkatu 11-13 will terminate during the first half of 2012. Due to need to optimize the usage of current Nokia sites and offices in the capital city area Nokia has decided not to continue its lease agreement in Ruoholahti office.”
“Optimize” is corporate slang for “austerity”, which itself is bureaucratic slang for “count pennies”. When you stop and think about what Nokia actually does today, closing this site makes a lot of sense. The Finnish handset maker takes software that was developed at one company (Microsoft), makes sure it can run on the hardware that was developed at another company (Qualcomm), and then sends an order to an Asian factory (Foxconn, Quanta, etc.) to make devices that’ll eventually be put on store shelves all over the world. According to Nokia’s Q1 2012 financial results, they have 47,837 people working for them. That number doesn’t include the 6,500+ people working in the “Location and Commerce Unit” and the 70,400+ people working at Nokia Siemens Networks.
Does Nokia need close to 48,000 people to sell 12 million smartphones in a quarter? Probably not. What’s going to happen to those people who work in the Ruoholahti office? That’s something I hope we’ll be hearing about soon.
[Image Credit: Flickr user Mr Anderson]