Finnish telecoms giant Nokia will cut up to 10,000 jobs within two years to pare back costs and invest in its research capabilities, the company announced on Tuesday.
The job cuts, representing as much as 11% of the firm’s workforce, comes as Nokia increases its focus on super-fast 5G networks and steps up its competition with rivals Ericsson and Huawei.
The layoffs will form part of a €600 million cost-cutting programme expected to last over an 18-24-month period, at the end of which Nokia expects to be “an 80,000-85,000 employee organisation” – down from its current staff of approximately 90,000.
The company said it was “too early to comment in detail” on which jobs would b cut, though it confirmed that French branches would be excluded. 1,000 of Nokia jobs in France are already being cut following the company’s 2016 acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent.
Finland is also expected to be excluded from the job cuts, as Nokia said it expected the planned restructure to have a “net positive” impact in the country. Last year, Nokia recruited over 1,200 new 5G-related posts in Finland.
Nokia CEO Pekka Lundmark announced a new strategy for the company in October, which would have Nokia operate as four business groups and “do whatever it takes” to gain a lead in 5G technology. Lundmark is expected to announced his long-term strategy and financial targets during Nokia’s capital markets day on Thursday.
“Decisions that may have a potential impact on our employees are never taken lightly,” Lundmark said in a statement. “My priority is to ensure that everyone impacted is supported through this process.”
The announcement of layoffs comes one day after Nokia struck a deal to supply Orange, one of the world’s largest mobile operator groups, with technology to optimise its international networks.