Nokia has recently begun consultative talks with employees about the coming changes that the organization will face under the reign of Stephen Elop. Elop, who became the CEO of Nokia in September 2010 after his predecessor Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo failed to keep the Finnish firm competitive after the launch of both the iPhone and Google’s Android operating system, announced in February that Nokia’s smartphone strategy would be given a reboot, that Symbian devices will sell for an additional 18 to 24 months before getting the axe, and that Windows Phone will be the only mobile operating system they were going to support. Because Nokia will no longer need Symbian engineers, drastic job reductions are expected. Unions in Finland are estimating that roughly 5,000 people will become unemployed this year alone. Unlike the United States, where you can show up to work at 9 in the morning, get a phone call from your boss at 10 in the morning saying your fired, and then by lunch time you’re lugging a box with all your personal mementos to your car whilst escorted by a pair of security guards, Finnish labor laws are much more strict. These consultative talks are required, more as a form of theatrics than anything else, before eventually kicking people out. The whole process can take months.
Now that Microsoft is responsible for giving Nokia the software they’re going to put on their mobile phones, we’ve got to wonder how that makes them any different than say HTC? They don’t own their destiny. Some will point at the various Ovi services and say that’s what Nokia brings to the table, but that’s not enough and the industry knows it. Whether Elop stays with Nokia for the long term has yet to be seen, but we don’t think the decision to become just another Windows Phone licensee is going to work out for Nokia in the long term.