Earlier this week, Microsoft announced that it was once again restructuring its phone business, cutting an additional 1,850 jobs. 1,350 of the jobs lost will be former Nokia employees that were based in Finland, effectively ending Microsoft's mobile projects in the country.
But it wasn't supposed to be that way, according to members of the Finnish government.
Apparently, two years ago when Microsoft purchased Nokia's Devices and Services division, the firm had promised to make Finland a hub of operations, even promising to build a data center in the country. Of course, none of these alleged promises materialized.
Employment Minister Jari Lindstrom said, "The company must bear as big a responsibility as possible over what they have done by laying off people."
And now, Finland's economy is struggling and the government blames Microsoft. Indeed, if the firm promised to be a benefactor to the Finnish economy and then did the precise opposite, it's perhaps not surprising that the country's government believes that Microsoft shares some of the fault.
In fact, this isn't the first time that the Finnish government has noted its dissatisfaction with the tech company. Shortly after the acquisition, the firm laid off 18,000 employees - around 12,500 of those had joined Microsoft from Nokia, and 1,100 of them were in Finland. At the time, Finance Minister Antti Rinne said, "I’m a little disappointed in Microsoft, which said at the time of the Nokia deal that it’s committed to Finland. This isn’t commitment."
This was back in July 2014, and that data center - in which Microsoft was to invest 250 million euros - was slated to open the following month. Of course, this didn't happen.
There was a time when Nokia dominated the mobile phone industry, and of course that changed through a series of poor decisions. Nevertheless, Microsoft's deal to purchase Nokia's Devices and Services division has shown some very real consequences.
Source: New York Times