Nokia Siemens Networks, a joint venture between Nokia of Finland and Siemens of Germany, has begun cutting 1,500 jobs from Motorola's wireless-network equipment division, which it acquired for $1.2 billion in July 2010. Just over a year later, one in five employees from the acquisition are being laid off: given that the group had 6,900 employees, the losses represent a whopping 21.7 percent reduction.
The cuts affect staff working in the GSM and WiMAX technology divisions in several countries including the US and Britain. The sad news was first reported by Reuters.
The original deal was meant to propel the joint venture to become the third wireless infrastructure vendor stateside and the top foreign wireless vendor in Japan. While that's still the goal, it is coming at quite a high price. Nokia Siemens has struggled for profitability amid tight spending by operators and tough competition from rivals Huawei and Ericsson.
This isn't the first time the company is making cuts. Back in November 2009, Nokia Siemens announced that it would lay off a significant portion of its global workforce: between 7 and 9 percent of its 64,000 workers at the time, for a total elimination of 4,500 to 5,700 jobs.
This development is not too surprising given that Motorola wanted to get rid of the division so badly. Furthermore, there's always redundancy and restructuring when such a large company acquires so many employees. Still, job cuts are always a sad event and our condolences go out to the families affected.