After Finnish mobile maker Nokia saw a 20% fall in sales between July and September 2023, the company has warned that anywhere between 9,000 and 14,000 employees will lose their jobs by the end of 2026.
This will be necessary to cut costs after the slowdown of 5G equipment’s demand, the BBC reported, the company having got out of the handset business after Microsoft's acquisition of that division in 2011.
The rise and fall
For now, Nokia still employs a massive 86,000 people worldwide, but this is already a reduction from the highs of their golden era. Such a change encapsulates just how fast the mobile industry can change, with Nokia once standing proudly at the summit of all handset manufacturers in the world; and yet, the rise of touchscreen phones from Apple and Samsung has changed everything, stealing Nokia’s crown and leaving the company behind.
Further job cuts will take place to help Nokia save €800 million to €1.2 billion in the next three years, necessary to weather a combination of high inflation, high interest rates, and low customer spending. Towards that minimum €800 million budget save, Nokia is making plans to cut costs by €400 million next year and another €300 million the year after.
As for what regions job cuts will take place in, that’s currently unknown.
League of layoffs
Be it Google or Unity, Tilting Point or Epic Games, layoffs have been prevalent in the mobile news cycle throughout 2023. Yet, even in such a tumultuous time, Nokia remains optimistic. Its chief executive Pekka Lundmark has commented on the company’s need to invest in AI and cloud computing to keep up with advancements, which the coming layoffs will likely help fund.
Lundmark also noted that "given the uncertain timing of the market recovery, we are now taking decisive action", and that in spite of the uncertainty, Nokia expects its current quarter to show "an improvement in our network businesses".
Nokia began the year on an optimistic note too, discussing strategies to get a broader range of people interested in its products and the importance of taking "meaningful action to nurture diverse future talent".