Is Stephen Elop really a Trojan horse?

Nokia sees itself dismantled

Nokia sees itself dismantled

Microsoft is taking action. More than half of the 18,000 job cuts are at the expense of the Finnish subsidiary Nokia. Finland feels betrayed by Microsoft managers.

STOCKHOLM. A year after the Finnish mobile communications pioneer Nokia was taken over by the US software company Microsoft, not much remains of the former world market leader for mobile phones. Even before the takeover, there were mass layoffs and entire departments were dismantled. On Thursday, Microsoft boss Satya Nadella announced that almost every second of the 25,000 Nokia employees taken over by the Americans would be laid off in the next few months.

Nokia for Microsoft dispensable

Nadella's predecessor Steve Ballmer tried unsuccessfully to offer devices and software from a single source by taking over Nokia's mobile phone division due to the shift in the growth markets in the IT sector. Apple was his role model. But the Nokia devices with the Windows Phone operating system as well as the Microsoft Tablet Surface were not the best sellers hoped for.

Nadella, who is said to have been against the purchase of Nokia's mobile phone division, Microsoft now wants to lead back to the core competencies of software and cloud services. The once most important company in Finland stands in the way like old junk.

At the Microsoft location in Oulu, the employees were shocked by the seemingly never-ending dismantling. The local research and development site with 500 employees will be closed. A total of 1100 jobs are disappearing in Finland alone. Back in September Ballmer had promised the employees during a visit to Oulu that production there would continue as usual. "Now the worst scenario has occurred," said employee representative Timo Pukinkorva on the Finnish broadcaster YLE. “It was very quiet in the office when the news came. At first I couldn't believe what I was hearing. That this is really the end, ”said employee Tiina Noramo.

"Keep promise"

Finland's bourgeois Prime Minister Alexander Stubb tried to smooth things over. He spoke on the phone with Microsoft's Vice President Stephen Elop. After all, it is good news that Microsoft wants to keep its Finnish locations in Tampere, Salo and Espoo, he said. Finance minister and ex-union boss Antti Rinne called on Microsoft to take social responsibility for the dismissed employees and to keep the promises to the location Finland.

Many Finns are still angry with Stephen Elop, who once came to Nokia as the supposed savior of Microsoft and who announced the merger with Microsoft at the end of 2010. The mobile phone giant should be brought back into shape.

After Elop sold Nokia's mobile phone division to Microsoft for € 5.4 billion just three years later, the old Nokia executives, as well as Finnish politicians and trade unionists, accused him of having come to Finland as a Trojan horse. He had run down Nokia further in order to be able to hand the company over to Microsoft cheaply.

In any case, the remaining Nokia, today primarily a communications network builder, sold the mobile phone division to the Americans in good time and at a reasonably good price, and was thus able to secure the remaining divisions without major layoffs.