The digital business week

3 Oct 2011

A digest of the top business and technology news stories from the past week.

Nokia to cut another 3,500 jobs globally

Nokia has said it will be cutting a further 3,500 jobs from its global workforce by the end of 2012.

In April, the company announced it was cutting 7,000 jobs, including transferring 3,000 employees to Accenture.

Nokia said these most recent personnel reductions are in addition to the measures announced in April and are expected to take effect by the end of 2012.

The company will close its manufacturing facility in Cluj, Romania, by the end of 2011, moving production to its high-volume Asian factories, which it said provide greater scale and proximity benefits.

The company also said it plans to focus its location and commerce development efforts in Berlin, Boston, Chicago and other supporting sites, and to close its operations in Bonn and Malvern (US).

Caci to spend €3.2m on R&D centre in Dublin

Caci, the creditor insurance subsidiary of Crédit Agricole Assurances, announced it is to invest €3.2m in setting up an R&D centre of excellence in Dublin.

The new centre, which has the support of IDA Ireland, will initially focus on enhancing the group’s risk management and modelling capabilities.

Caci is a specialist company within Crédit Agricole Assurances, which provides payment protection insurance (PPI) and related products. Based in France, Caci has 300 employees operating across Europe. Caci has had an office in Ireland for the last 12 years and currently has more than 80 employees in Dublin.  

According to the company, the Irish operation has specialist capability within the group that has resulted in the R&D win for the Dublin subsidiary.

EU to launch anti-trust probe into SEPA

The European Commission has launched an anti-trust investigation into the European banks’ plan for a Europe-wide electronics payment system called the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA).

The move follows a complaint by internet payment companies like PayPal that the system is unfair.

SEPA is being developed by the European Payments Council, which includes major banks including Barclays, HSBC, Santander and Deutsche Bank.

The aim of SEPA is to allow users to buy goods online anywhere in Europe and pay using their own internet banking service and current accounts.

According to a complaint lodged by Payment Network AG, a Germany online payments provider, SEPA may unfairly lock out payment providers such as PayPal which don’t have links to banks.

The European Commission says it will investigate the matter because excluding providers like PayPal could breach EU rules on restrictive business practices.

Nokia Siemens Networks appoints executive chairman

Management veteran Jesper Ovesen has a new role – as executive chairman of the board of Nokia Siemens Networks.

The full-time role will have Ovesen work with Nokia Siemens Networks CEO Rajeev Suri and his management team to oversee the strategic direction of Nokia Siemens Networks as it seeks to strengthen its position as a leader in the industry and become a more independent entity. 

Ovesen (54) has held a number of senior management positions in leading European companies, most recently that of CFO at Danish telecommunications group TDC during the company’s restructuring process and Initial Public Offering.

Zamano’s losses slashed in H1

Mobile phone services group Zamano has seen its pre-tax losses fall from €6.52m in the first half of 2010 to €530,000 in the first six months of this year.

The company’s revenues were also down from €8.75m to €6.24m over the same period.

John O’Shea, Zamano’s CEO, noted that the group, which consists of the Everneo, Zamano Solutions Ltd (ZSL) and Newsworthie, had completed a restructuring and repositioning earlier in the year, which had resulted in modest growth in the business in Q3 2011 compared against Q2 2011.

O’Shea said revenues had dropped in the first quarter because of the decision to exit low-margin business, in conjunction with a cost restructuring undertaken in January.

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