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Microsoft to lay off more than half its Finnish staff

Microsoft has announced a new round of lay-offs and an ‘impairment charge’ associated with its acquisition of Finnish firm Nokia’s mobile phone business. Some 7,800 jobs are to go, mainly in the devices unit bought from Nokia. 

 Microsoftin Suomen pääkonttori Keilaniemessä Espoossa.
Microsoftin Suomen pääkonttori Keilaniemessä Espoossa. Image: Jyrki Lyytikkä / Yle

IT giant Microsoft has announced more big lay-offs as it continues to deal with the fallout from its purchase of Finnish firm Nokia’s mobile phone business. In a statement published on Wednesday, the company said it would add an ‘impairment charge’ of 7.6 billion US dollars (6.87 billion euros) to its balance sheet to cover the costs associated with the Nokia deal and was looking to lay off 7,800 staff.

A maximum of 2,300 jobs will be lost in Finland as the company shuts down its Salo operation and moves tasks from there to Microsoft facilities in Tampere and Espoo. The company employs around 3,200 people in Finland.

In a company statement, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was quoted as saying the firm would retain “capability for long-term reinvention in mobility” even as it scales back production of smartphones.

Last summer the company reduced head count by some 18,000, with around a thousand of those jobs going in Finland.

Microsoft announced the acquisition of Nokia’s handset unit in 2013 as the company attempted to fight back against dominant tech giants Google and Apple with its own mobile unit. In 2011 Nokia’s then-CEO Stephen Elop had already switched Nokia’s smartphone platform to Microsoft’s software, effectively shutting down Nokia’s own software platforms Symbian and MeeGo.

Elop had come to Nokia from Microsoft, and returned to the US firm when it acquired Nokia’s devices unit. He left the company last month.

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