Nokia's iconic Finnish HQ to become a Microsoft site

Nokia's iconic Finnish HQ to become a Microsoft site

Summary: Microsoft adds Nokia's sprawling Espoo headquarters to the list of assets it's taking over, while Nokia moves to pastures new.


Nokia House, the sprawling glass structure that has been home to thousands of Nokians since the 1990s, will become a Microsoft site next year.

Following this week's shareholder vote approving the €5.4bn sale of Nokia's devices and services unit to Microsoft, Nokia today told employees who work at headquarters in Espoo, near Helsinki, they'll be moving to a new location.

"Earlier today we communicated to our Nokia House-based employees about their expected future work location," Nokia told ZDNet in a statement.

The good news for staff is that for those that are affected will be moving to a Nokia-owned property also in Espoo, while the majority of the roughly 1,800 staff who work at Nokia House will end up staying at the building thanks to the deal with Microsoft.

"As the majority of employees currently working at our corporate headquarters are focused on devices & services activities and support functions, Nokia House will become a Microsoft site once the deal closes," Nokia said.

Pending regulatory clearances, Microsoft is expected to take over Nokia devices in the first quarter of next year, absorbing some 32,000 of its employees worldwide. Of that total, Microsoft is taking on 4,700 Finnish employees who work in devices and services, who will staff its new mobile R&D in the country.

Nokia sold the 48,000m2 facility last year for €170m but also signed a long-term lease as part of the deal, which Microsoft will take over.

Once the deal with Microsoft is done, Nokia will consist of three main businesses: NSN, its mapping division Here, and Advanced Technologies, which covers patents and tech research.

Those staying on with Nokia will move to the Nokia-owned property in Karaportti campus, Espoo, nearby NSN's existing offices. Others will join Nokia's research teams located at Open Innovation House in Otaniemi.

Further reading

Topic: Nokia

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • Has Finland declared a national day of mourning to mark the transition?

    As a U.S. citizen (and not a fan of Microsoft), I feel kind of sorry for the Finns. I've really enjoyed the Nokia products I've owned. My old Nokia 1100 basic cellphone is actually one of my most favorite pieces of tech.
    • Why fell sory for them?

      they'll still be working there, and Nokia/MS will still be making top rate hardware.

      Why feel sorry? Because many years ago management and sharholders of Nokia didn't see the future coming with smartphones until it was too late, even though Nokia had the concept long ago?

      with a 99% yes vote by investors, I'm guessing its a day of celebration in Finland - Nokia won't close down and have everything shipped to China, instead Finland will still be the center of the MS handset division.

      Not bad, actually.
      • But what will it do?

        It looks like Nokia is being transformed from a electronics manufacturer into a patent troll. That's no cause for celebration for anyone but patent lawyers and certain monopolists who shall remain nameless.
        John L. Ries
        • You didn't read or pay attention to the contents of the article...

          which says...

          "Once the deal with Microsoft is done, Nokia will consist of three main businesses: NSN, its mapping division Here, and Advanced Technologies, which covers patents and tech research."

          Thus, Nokia will still have other divisions still alive and operating and making money. Furthermore, patents is a way of making money, like ARM makes money from its patents and licensing of those patents. Microsoft, for example, is "rumored" to be raking in the dough via collection of fees on the Android platform, which uses some of MS's patents. So, patents are really "innovations and inventions" which are worth a lot of money. I predict that eventually, MS will purchase those Nokia patents too, and that whatever Nokia has leftover will also be purchased by other companies and/or Microsoft.

          As it stands, Nokia is lucky they weren't left to go completely out of the devices business, and they ended up getting some $7 billion dollars on the deal, which is a lot more than BB/RIM, which will have to go out of business at some point.
          • We want innovative engineers...

            ...not innovative lawyers. It's way too easy to violate a patent by accident, whereas in a properly functioning patent system, it would be nearly impossible.

            "Gotcha law" is *always* a bad thing.
            John L. Ries
          • Who says Nokia won't have innovative engineers?

            And who say MS won't have innovative engineers?

            You seem to forget that Nokia has had those patents for quite some time, and has had their lawyers licensing them for years, so they are not suddenly changing anything, or becoming anything different in terms of patents.

            They are selling off their handset division because they need the cash to survive, especially since buying out the remaining portion of Nokia Siemens Networks from Siemens, and other expenditures.
          • As you deftly sidestep...

   main point, which is that it's way too easy to violate a patent by accident, calling the whole system into question.

            That's probably why MS is so reluctant to publicly state what patents the Linux kernel violates.
            John L. Ries
          • John L. Ries: You're being pretty stupid again...

            Look, nobody that enters into a smartphone manufacturing business, could "accidentally" violate any patent. They know quite well that any kind of technology, especially nowadays, comes with hundreds or thousands of patents that helped to create the device and/or platform. You may not like them, but, patent lawyers are supposed to be able to find any potential violations before they happen. The word "accident" doesn't belong in a multi-billion dollar enterprise. Using "accident" as an excuse should bring a stiff sentence or a stiff penalty to the person or company trying to pretend "innocence".
  • LOL

    I bet half will be fired (sorry, RIF'd...make some pinheaded HR person feel all warm and fuzzy) within a year...
    • It's also very possible that the Nokia devices division of MS will grow

      and create a lot more jobs in Finland. WP/Nokia has been growing, especially in Europe, so, it's a lot more likely that the Finnish will end up with a very popular and successful WP/Nokia devices company in their midst, as opposed to one that could have been dead, if it weren't for Microsoft.
      • WP is the very reason Nokia died.

        And Microsoft had a pivotal role in killing Nokia.
        Jan L.
        • Enough of that BS line, please

          it was debunked a while ago, and repeating it won't make it come true.

          All it does is make you look like you haven't caught up on things.
    • Why is that? you don't fire someone you need.

      and since there's no overlap here, why fire someone you need?