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Published by: Harvard Business Publishing
Originally published in: 2015
Version: 2 August 2016
Revision date: 20-Sep-2016

Abstract

'Not another Bochum.' Nokia Board Chairman Jorma Ollila was clear in the goals he set for the 2011 restructuring that Nokia's new CEO, Stephen Elop, had decided was necessary to address the dramatically changed competitive environment the company faced in smartphones and mobile phones. The strategy shift would include transitioning Nokia's phone operating system to Microsoft Windows, and closing phone R&D centers and factories in 13 countries, with layoffs that would eventually impact 18,000 employees. Yet with several important R&D projects still under development, and capacity needed in factories for many more months, Nokia's board and leaders wanted to avoid the mistakes the company had made in a plant shutdown in Bochum, Germany in 2008. EVP of Corporate Relations and Responsibility Esko Aho was mandated to develop a 'Nokia way' to implement the restructuring that would reflect the company's values and allow them to maintain morale and commitment among the employees who would eventually lose their jobs. The case describes the development of Nokia's 'Bridge' program, a comprehensive approach to helping employees find new employment opportunities and to replacing jobs in communities where Nokia had been a major employer. The case challenges students to make decisions such as when and how to tell employees about a layoff, how to manage local government leaders, and what support to provide in 13 different countries, each with its own legal and regulatory environment, cultural norms, and expectations and needs of employees and local communities.
Industry:
Size:
Large organisation
Other setting(s):
2011-2013

About

Abstract

'Not another Bochum.' Nokia Board Chairman Jorma Ollila was clear in the goals he set for the 2011 restructuring that Nokia's new CEO, Stephen Elop, had decided was necessary to address the dramatically changed competitive environment the company faced in smartphones and mobile phones. The strategy shift would include transitioning Nokia's phone operating system to Microsoft Windows, and closing phone R&D centers and factories in 13 countries, with layoffs that would eventually impact 18,000 employees. Yet with several important R&D projects still under development, and capacity needed in factories for many more months, Nokia's board and leaders wanted to avoid the mistakes the company had made in a plant shutdown in Bochum, Germany in 2008. EVP of Corporate Relations and Responsibility Esko Aho was mandated to develop a 'Nokia way' to implement the restructuring that would reflect the company's values and allow them to maintain morale and commitment among the employees who would eventually lose their jobs. The case describes the development of Nokia's 'Bridge' program, a comprehensive approach to helping employees find new employment opportunities and to replacing jobs in communities where Nokia had been a major employer. The case challenges students to make decisions such as when and how to tell employees about a layoff, how to manage local government leaders, and what support to provide in 13 different countries, each with its own legal and regulatory environment, cultural norms, and expectations and needs of employees and local communities.

Settings

Industry:
Size:
Large organisation
Other setting(s):
2011-2013

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