Two weeks ago Nokia announced that they would slash 10,000 jobs by the end of 2013. Buried in that press release was the terribly upsetting news that Nokia’s offices in Ulm, Germany would be shut down. According to the Finnish business site Taloussanomat, Ulm was where development on Meltemi was taking place. Meltemi was supposed to be the Linux based operating system that Nokia would put on their feature phones. According to our sources, Meltemi was thought of internally as MeeGo/Maemo for “the next billion”. Now Nokia’s employees in Ulm could have just headed to the local bar and drank their sorrows away, losing your job most definitely prompts such action, but they didn’t. They launched “Project KYVYT” instead. It isn’t an operating system, it isn’t even a software project. It’s a plea to companies to hire what they like to call “Ulm Talents”. The exact wording on their website states:
“Kyvyt will be a Talent & Job offer website that will focus on Ulm talents that probably will soon be available. We will be posting Team profiles for investors and Personal CVs for Companies that need true talents. There will also be information about activities that are happening.”
There’s no way to put this nicely, so we’ll just say it: Nokia’s management is killing the company. These guys in Ulm, who probably are incredibly talented, aren’t going to lose their jobs because they messed up. They’re going to be unemployed because the people on top want Nokia to focus on one thing and one thing only: Windows Phone. One source has told us that Antti Vasara, Senior Vice President of Nokia’s Feature Phone Division, will soon be leaving the company. We reached out to Nokia for some confirmation, but they said they don’t comment on “personnel changes”. Is Nokia planning to exit the dumb phone market? Maybe, we can’t say for certain.