As expected, Nokia is firing thousands of people worldwide, because it is moving to Microsoft. In addition, it is transferring much of its activities related to Symbian, its older and once dominant mobile operating system, to Accenture.Most of the people being fired are R&D people. Now Microsoft is doing most of its R&D to Nokia. So this isn’t just a reorganization or slimming down, it’s a shedding of huge strategic (or previously strategic) assets. It’s no surprise that Nokia’s stock is falling like a rock.
It’s also startling that Nokia can’t find a way to sell these assets. Presumably if all these R&D labs and Symbian support and development was thought to have some value, Nokia could have sold it or spun it off. It doesn’t seem that Accenture is paying money for the Symbian unit. Instead Nokia is just firing and outsourcing people. That ought to tell you something of how successful Nokia’s R&D has been.
Nokia has been a wonderfully innovative and hugely respected company. In a matter of years it has sunk to once-unimaginable lows. Nokia still has amazing assets and there is a chance that it can turn itself around and become a successful OEM as HTC has. It remains to be seen whether the new Nokia will be great, but one thing is sure: a Nokia is dying today.
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