More Industry Bloodletting: Nokia to Cut 10,000 Jobs Over Next 18 Months

The mobile space will see a shakeout of sorts over the next 18 months. Nokia, the Finland-based maker of mobile phones, announced Wednesday that it will cut 10,000 jobs from its worldwide workforce through the end of 2013, as it attempts to regain its once-dominant place in a market increasingly defined by Apple’s iPhone and a variety of mobile devices built on Google’s Android operating system.

“These planned reductions are a difficult consequence of the intended actions we believe we must take to ensure Nokia’s long-term competitive strength,” Stephen Elop, Nokia’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “We do not make plans that may impact our employees lightly, and as a company we will work tirelessly to ensure that those at risk are offered the support, options and advice necessary to find new opportunities.”

The shakeout extends to Nokia’s executive team as well, as chief marketing officer Jerri DeVard, executive vice president of mobile phones Mary McDowell, and EVP of markets Niklas Savander are all out effective June 30.

Nokia has made a bid to rejeuvenate its phone product lines by adopting Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system as its devices’ base, making it the largest mobile device maker for that system. Microsoft paid Nokia $250 million in the fourth quarter of 2011 in a partnership deal that should net Nokia “billions” over the next few years in what the companies have termed “platform support” payments.

However, the company has lost significant market share during the past five years in particular to the iPhone and Android, dropping it to second place worldwide in mobile market share behind Samsung, and it faces a tough uphill battle to regain its momentum even as competitors press their advantages with those increasingly popular mobile operating systems.

The announced layoffs are another in a string of recent job cuts at significant industry companies, most recently Hewlett-Packard’s decision to eliminate 30,000 workers. Yahoo chopped 2,000 jobs in April, amounting to 14% of its workforce, and Nokia isn’t the only company in the mobile industry to be shedding positions – Research in Motion, the maker of the Blackberry, also expects to eliminate jobs as it similarly fights to regain market share lost to the iPhone and Android.

Image courtesy of Nokia.

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