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Nokia-Siemens to slash quarter of workforce, reshuffle focus on mobile broadband

Joint venture Nokia Siemens Networks is to cut and burn 17,000 jobs in a bid to claw back flailing shares and poor competitive reach.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor

Nokia-Siemens is to slash and burn its joint venture workforce in a bid to save up to €1 billion ($1.4 billion) by the end of 2013, by cutting around 23 percent of its employee base.

In what appears to be a strong-minded and deep-cutting move, 17,000 jobs will go between the joint Finnish-German company in trying to narrow the gap behind telecommunications giant Ericsson.

The massive "global restructuring" plan will be one of the fastest and deepest cuts a company has seen in recent history.

While Nokia and Siemens have been trying to sell their joint-owned network equipment venture, the partnership continues to struggle to find a potential buyer, as Ericsson, which was recently bought out by Sony as the Sony Ericsson venture collapsed, continues to dominate the market.

By reducing its operating expenses and production overheads -- by restructuring and refocusing its overall strategy -- the company shift its overall strategy by focusing on mobile network infrastructure, such as mobile broadband.

But these cuts are part of a series of ongoing layoffs by the Helsinki telecoms giant, though lamentably "necessary to maintain long term competitiveness and improve profitability in a challenging telecoms market."

At the end of September, Nokia cut 3,500 jobs across the company in a bid to claw back costs amidst poor mobile marketshare. Describing the cuts as "painful, yet necessary", it was Europe that took the full force of the layoffs, as Stephen Elop, Nokia's chief executive maintained its "commitment" to the region.

There is currently no word on where most of the job cuts will affect the Nokia-Siemens partnership, though after previous cuts, it is expected to hit mainland European workers the most, as where the bulk of its operations are.

Nokia Siemens is a joint 50 percent each stake venture between Finnish Nokia Corp. and Germany's Siemens AG. Looking up for Nokia this morning, Nokia's shares were trading up over 2.3 percent on yesterday in Helsinki. Siemens was down 1.3 percent to $1.20 a share at market opening.


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