Nokia to cut hundreds of jobs in Finland as it begins digital health review

20 Feb 2018

Nokia logo. Image: 360b/Shutterstock

Nokia is undergoing some major restructuring, including a reduction in staff.

Finnish technology creator Nokia is examining a range of options for its digital health business, which is part of Nokia Technologies.

The company has a number of digital health products, from an activity monitoring watch to a smart thermometer and heart health Wi-Fi scale.

At present, the patents, brand partnerships and technology licensing units in Nokia Technologies are not under the scope of the company’s review process.

According to a statement, Nokia had been seeking growth opportunities in digital health amid a tough market for the keystone of its business: telecom network gear.

The firm stated that the review of the digital health arm of its business “may or may not result in any transaction or other changes”.

Withings purchase may not be paying off

Nokia purchased French firm Withings, a creator of activity trackers and thermometers, for €170m as a first step into the digital health space. At the time of the acquisition in mid-2016, 200 employees from Withings joined Nokia as part of the deal.

At the time, CEO of Nokia, Rajeev Suri, said: “With this acquisition, Nokia is strengthening its position in the internet of things in a way that leverages the power of our trusted brand, fits with our company purpose of expanding the human possibilities of the connected world and puts us at the heart of a very large addressable market where we can make a meaningful difference in people’s lives.”

The purchase of the company two years ago marked the Finnish firm’s clear intention to enter into the market, but this upcoming evaluation could spell an end to this venture.

Many analysts are speculating that Nokia may sell off the digital health arm, rather than continuing to try and make a dent in an increasingly difficult and competitive market.

Nokia cutting costs

As Android Authority reported, Nokia wrote down €141m of goodwill on the digital health business in the third quarter of 2017.

A global cost-savings plan has been in place at the company since its acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent in 2016. As part of this, it is cutting up to 425 positions in Finland this year.

At present, 6,300 people work at Nokia in Finland, with 102,800 people working for the firm at a global level.

Nokia logo. Image: 360b/Shutterstock

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects