Nokia to close their Ruoholahti office in Helsinki, Finland

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]

  • Doug Dawson

    DougatNokia here. Sorry to spoil the drama, but our decision not to renew our lease in Ruoholahti was due to our desire to re-locate our Nokia Research Center closer to Aalto University in Otaniemi. This was announced more than a year ago.

    • Anonymous

       Don’t let facts get in the way of his narrative.

    • Anonymous

      The former MeeGo people partly left (or were let go after completing a termination period announced long in advance), partly relocated to other units, mainly in Espoo. Shutting down the office may be symbolic, but the life goes on.

    • Matti Kv

      It seems the new location in Otaniemi is considerably smaller than the one in Ruoholahti. Total floor space in Ruoholahti office: 19 500 square meters. In Otaniemi: shared floor space with Aalto and EIT ICT Labs 11 500. Aalto says they will occupy 50 percent of the foor space of the new building in Otaniemi. That would would leave around or 5750 square meters to Nokia or does it mean that also EIT ICT Labs will share the remaining 5750 sq. meters with Nokia? 

  • Jody

    NSN freed up lots of space in Kara site in Espoo. It now reverts to Nokia.

    In the good old days that was only NRC there.

  • Remembering the Old age of Nokia and its open source OSs, I wonder: is Microsoft becoming open source like IBM already did? It would not explained why Nokia has joined Microsoft?!


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