Nokia, the Finnish mobile phone giant, has announced the shedding of 600 jobs.

The following sectors will get hit: Approximately 450 employees, maximum 100 in Finland, in the Markets unit will be affected, 130 Nokia Research Center employees globally, of which again a maximum of 100 are in Finland. Some smaller workforce adjustments are also in the plans in the global process operations. The adjustments in process operations are estimated to affect approximately 35 employees, of which almost all are in Finland.

In addition to the job cuts, Nokia plans to close its Turku site (Finland) and relocate those activities predominantly to Salo (Finland).

The changes in the Markets unit, Nokia Research Center and in other Nokia functions will come into effect on January 1, 2009. The closing of the Turku site is estimated to be completed by the end of January, 2009.

In the press release Juha Äkräs, Nokia’s HR Senior Vice President, states that “[t]oday’s changes are part of Nokia’s constant renewal where it is important to be close to our customers and ensure that our people are able to focus on the key business priorities. Also, our aim is to find alternative work within Nokia for as many employees as possible”.
It’s anybody’s guess how this will affect the vast sub-contractor ecosystem that Nokia has implicitly created in Finland, but I don’t see this as big of a problem for startups as it might first appear.
Firstly, Nokia has not particularly helped in creation of startups in Finland in the first place due to its strong historic emphasis in hardware (which they desperately try to change with OVI among other services) and choices in software (Think Symbian). Thus, there’s not much to loose from the startup perspective in the short term, although the wider economic implications might be felt by everybody.
Secondly, the layoffs might have an effect that is not so obvious on the face of it. The layoffs and the drying up of career prospects might result in smart people to realize that they are better off by doing something of their own. Thus, this might actually increase the number of startups that get born in Finland in the short run. So if you have an idea for a startup, now’s the time to find competent people to get that idea of the ground with you
What do you think about the layoffs, Nokia and the current state of the economy?
Here’s TechCrunch’s take on the news.
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