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Nokia Goes from Bad to Worse

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In February, when CEO Stephen Elop spoke of "substantial reductions in employment," he wasn't kidding.

As Nokia phases out its Symbian and MeeGo systems, the company is expected to cut as many as 6,000 jobs from its research and development workforce. According to Antti Rinne of Pro -- Finland's biggest private-sector office-worker union -- the cuts are set to be announced by the end of this month and could amount to 38% of Nokia's R&D workforce.

Worse yet, no one is sure who will keep their jobs and who will get the axe.

Research engineer Kalle Kiili noted to Bloomberg the high cost of ongoing restructuring of Nokia's R&D department. "This doesn't make for very efficient or creative working conditions." Adding, "This waiting is expensive and we've already had a reorganization of R&D in 2009 and another reorganization of Symbian in the second half of 2010, just as the organization was starting to work properly again."

In trying to stay ahead, Nokia always seemed to reorganize just behind the curve.

Bloomberg also notes that this massive layoff is the largest in two decades. Not since Nokia cut 31% of its staff in the period between 1990 and 1993 has the company let go so many people. But the corporation soon became overstaffed as its workforce doubled since 1999 to nearly 60,000 people.

But it's not like Nokia hasn't had it share of job cuts.

Layoffs continue to plague the company as 1,800 people were axed in September 2010, 5,760 in November 2009, 1,700 in March 2009, and so on. In its aim to become leaner and meaner, Nokia shares have dropped 24% since announcing the Microsoft partnership and had its market value one-upped by HTC last week. Bond ratings firm Moody's also recently downgraded its rating for the struggling company.

When the co-CEO of Research in Motion can't understand why no one celebrates his company's successes in the fight against Google and Apple, it's difficult to even find Nokia's successes at this point.

That is truly a burning platform.

(See also: Nokia's Outlook Looks Pretty Grim and Facing Apple and Google's Success, Nokia CEO Goes Rogue)

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