September 29, 2011, 5:24 PM — The headline on Nokia's Thursday announcement that it will lay off 3,500 workers by the end of next year is a case study in corporate-speak.
"Nokia continues to align its workforce and operations," it declares. Sounds as if it's almost a good thing!
But it's really not. It means several more thousand people are going to be out of a job, not an enviable situation in this global economy. Most of the layoffs (2,200) will come from the company's operations in Romania, with others targeting workers throughout Europe and in Pennsylvania.
None of this is a surprise. Nokia's smartphone business has been imploding for some time now, and things only got worse when the company basically announced early this year that it essentially was dropping out of the smartphone race until it can start selling devices running on Windows Phone 7 late this year or early next.
In April, Nokia announced it would lay off 4,000 workers by the end of next year.
Don't count on this being the last round, either. The company's second-quarter smartphone sales were down more than 30% from the year-ago quarter -- even as the smartphone market has grown -- and Nokia reported a Q2 loss of $663 million. With consumers even less inclined to buy a Nokia phone in the third quarter as the debut of WP7 devices near, Q3 should be even uglier.
And that's going to mean even more lost jobs -- I mean, even more "aligning" of Nokia's workforce and operations.
On Wall Street, where cost-cutting layoffs are always greeted favorably, shares of Nokia (NYSE: NOK) were up 22 cents, or 4.0%, on Thursday.