The long-time Finnish maker of mobile phones, Nokia, announced today that they are preparing to reduce their workforce, according to Reuters. The cuts will start with 800 in Nokia's home market of Finland. Overall, the company expects to eliminate 1800 jobs worldwide. This total number was announced back in October, but it was not clear at the time where the cuts would come from.
Observers suspect that many of the job losses are due to the de-emphasis of Symbian development. The layoffs are expected to go into effect in January. These employees aren't being completely cut loose, though. Nokia has agreed to provide severance packages equal to 5-15 months of salary. While some of Nokia's recent decisions leave us scratching our heads, it's never good news to hear about tech layoffs. Do you think this says anything about Nokia's future?
Clark Griswold went off the deep end when he received a "Jelly of the Month" membership in place of a holiday bonus check, but at least he wasn't laid off. The same can't be said for some 650 to 700 Yahoo employees expected to lose their jobs today, AllThingsD.com reports.
Yahoo's product division will bear the brunt of this round of layoffs, and mostly here in the U.S. If all this weren't crummy enough, those laid off will be asked to leave immediately.
If there's a bright side to all this, it's that the number of pink slips is about half of what was initially reported. Back in November, TechCrunch said Yahoo was planning on severing about 20 percent of its 6,500 workforce, which Yahoo said was "misleading and inaccurate."
It's no surprise that Limewire is expecting hard times after being forced to shut down their p2p client. What is a bit surprising is their determination to move the company forward and make a place in the already crowded legal music service space. According to All Things D, 30% of Limewire staff got the boot. " Following the court-ordered injunction, we reduced our work force to extend our runway for bringing our new music service to market," said Limewire CEO George Searle.
There is a project already underway at Limewire to distribute music legally. The "Grapevine" service is still an unknown quantity. We don't even know if it will use p2p technology in any way. Whichever way they go, the big labels will have to sign on for it to be a success. Do you think Limewire has a shot, or is it curtains for them?
Second Life developer Linden Lab today announced a strategic restructuring that will see it invest in new initiatives, including the development of a browser-based version and the use of social networks to extend the Second Life experience even further. At the same time, the company hopes to become more cost efficient, and to this end has chosen to prune its staff by 30%. Apparently, it has already shut down its UK and Singapore offices while reducing staff in San Francisco, Seattle and Mountain View. Linden also bid farewell to the entire enterprise division.
The sun shines brightest in the summer time, but dark days loom for more Sun workers. Oracle will make more job cuts related to its acquisition of Sun Microsystems, the company said in a regulatory filing.
Oracle didn't say exactly how many pink slips it plans to hand out, and an Oracle spokeswoman declined to comment beyond the filing. Sun employees have been living on eggshells even before Oracle acquired the company, and according to an InfoWorld report, at least one analyst predicted that Oracle would lay off 50 percent of Sun's workforce to put the company back in the black. At the time, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison vehemently shrugged off the claim.
"The Sun people went through enough angst without having to read this garbage that you're writing," he told reporters and analysts in January. "The truth is, we're actually hiring 2,000 people over the next few months to beef up these businesses, and that's about twice as many people as we'll be laying off. We're not cutting Sun to profitability, we're growing Sun to profitability."
To cover the layoffs, which will mostly be concentrated in Europe and Asia, Oracle will take a charge of up to $650 million this year.
The tough times continue for those employed in the tech industry, and Big Blue in particular. According to the Alliance@IBM/CWA Local 1701, IBM has issued about 400 layoff notices.
Lee Conrad, national coordinator of the Alliance, believes this is the just the first wave of more layoffs to come, though he didn't say how many he believes will get the axe. Neither did IBM, who rarely does, saying only that this is a result of a remixing of "our skills and structure to meet the changing needs of our clients."
IBM employs about 400,000 workers around the world. According to Conrad, the latest cuts are the result of a shift to offshore work. Big Blue employees around 105,000 U.S. workers, compared to 115,000 one year ago.
Lest anyone thought Microsoft was kidding about slashing its workforce by 5,000 when first announced a year ago, the Redmond outfit has met its goal, and well ahead of its self-imposed June 2010 deadline.
Steve Ballmer's plan for mass layoffs was the first in the company's history, and it has already handed out 5,300 pink slips, or 300 more than originally announced. About 800 positions were eliminated in the company's fiscal second quarter ended December 31, 2009, with Microsoft reporting it had paid $59 million in severance pay related to those layoffs.
When Ballmer first announced the cuts in January, 2009, he said they would continue over the next 18 months and might reach as high as 5,000. With five more months still left to go, Microsoft has overshot its goal by 300. From a bean counting perspective, the layoffs have been a success, helping Microsoft report a record $19 billion revenue in the last quarter.
Today's WTF moment is brought to you by AOL. The struggling ISP recently told investors it would spend $200 million trimming down a large portion of its staff, but up until now, the suits in charge didn't say how they planned to do it. According to CEO Tim Armstrong, AOL is looking for "up to 2,500 volunteers," CNet reports.
Raising your hand for a pink slip doesn't quite have the same effect as barging into the boss man's office and telling him to to 'take this job and shove it,' so we're curious how AOL's volunteer program plays out.
The 'step forward and enjoy the holidays on unemployment' program begins on December 4, just a few days before AOL spins off from Time Warner. So in other words, AOL employees must choose whether to leave on their own free will and start the job hunt right away, or roll the dice and hope they won't end up with a pink slip anyway as AOL moves to cut its annual operating expenses by $300 million. Sounds about as much fun as Russian Roulette, but hey, at least the investors are happy.
Things aren’t looking great for AOL as it is in the process of shaking Time Warner loose. The once dominant internet company has announced that 100 layoffs will be happening soon. After that AOL plans to ask for voluntary departures, possibly with some sort of buyout system. If that doesn’t produce the desired results, employees can expect heads to roll.
In an earnings call last week, Time Warner reported that AOL revenues were down 23 percent from last year. Sources say that those figures mean AOL will need to cut about 1000 jobs through various means. The larger layoffs could coincide with AOL’s departure from Time Warner. It will be a rough holiday season for some AOL employees. It almost makes you miss the golden age of the free AOL disk.
As part of a restructuring effort, Blue Coat Systems said it plans to slash nearly 20 percent of its workforce. The firm will issue about 280 layoffs in all and close its facilities in Riga, Latvia, South Plainfield, New Jersey, and Zoelemeer, Netherlands.
At the same time, Blue Coat announced plans to acquire S7 Software, a services company out of Banglaore, for $5.25 million in cash. The acquisition will also add 65 employees to Blue Coat's workforce.
"The combination of the restructuring program and the acquisition of S7 Software strikes an appropriate balance between profitability and investment for innovation," said Gordon Brooks, senior vice president and chief financial officer. "Together these actions will allow us to invest for future growth while aligning the Company’s cost structure to its current revenue level, which should drive higher and more consistent levels of profitability."
In addition to the layoffs, Blue Coat will relocate an undisclosed number of engineering jobs from its Sunnyvale, California, and Austin, Texas offices to S7's offices in Bangalore and a few other locations. After factoring in S7's employees and a few new hires, Blue Coat's workforce reduction will be closer to 10 percent.