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Major Layoffs for Nokia, but Continued Focus on Windows Phone

There's more trouble for one of Microsoft's underdog strategic partners. This time it's Nokia, rather than Yahoo or Barnes & Noble.

The Finnish phone company today announced up to 10,000 layoffs by 2013 and an executive shakeup at the tier below Stephen Elop, Nokia president and CEO and a former Microsoft senior executive. Nokia also cautioned investors that second quarter results would be worse than the company had predicted previously.

Significantly, on the Microsoft partnership side, Nokia's moves reinforce the company's controversial commitment to Windows Phone and the Lumia handset line that supports the Microsoft OS.

"We intend to pursue an even more focused effort on Lumia, continued innovation around our feature phones, while placing increased emphasis on our location-based services. However, we must re-shape our operating model and ensure that we create a structure that can support our competitive ambitions," Elop said in a statement.

On the Windows Phone platform, Nokia said it plans to broaden the Lumia price range and differentiate the devices with new materials, new technologies and location-based services, such as navigation, visual search applications and industry-specific mapping. Related to those moves, the company also announced plans to acquire Scalado, an imaging technology company based in Sweden.

The layoffs will come amid the planned closure of research and development facilities in Ulm, Germany and Burnaby, Canada and the closure of a manufacturing facility in Salo, Finland.

Senior executives being shown the door include Jerri DeVard, chief marketing officer; Mary McDowell, executive vice president of Mobile Phones; and Niklas Savander, executive vice president of Markets.

Replacing those executives on Nokia's executive leadership team at the end of the month will be Juha Putkiranta as executive vice president of Operations, Timo Toikkanen as executive vice president of Mobile Phones, and Chris Weber as executive vice president of Sales and Marketing. Weber, who had been running Nokia's North American subsidiary, is a familiar name to Microsoft partners. Prior to Nokia, he had been corporate vice president in Microsoft's Enterprise and Partner Group.

Posted by Scott Bekker on June 14, 2012