HELSINKI (Reuters) - Big shareholders in Finnish group Nokia like its new smartphone strategy but some are impatient with the timescale, chairman Jorma Ollila told Helsingin Sanomat.
“We have spoken with 20-30 central shareholders and their message is very clear. They consider the strategy good and the Windows decision a right one,” Ollila was quoted as saying in an interview.
“They do not like that we are about to start a restructuring period that takes 18 months or two years. It is such a long period that some investors do not have patience for that,” he told the newspaper, adding Nokia’s share price was “painful for the board”.
Nokia, the world’s top cellphone maker by volume, last month announced a strategy overhaul, dumping its own software platforms and saying it would use Microsoft’s Windows Phone, hitting its shares.
Ollila also said Nokia was aiming to start lay-off talks with its about 16,000 product developers in the last week of April. That would be after a Finnish election on April 17.
“This is global restructuring of our product development, so it is not only about Finland. Precise plans on job cuts are not made,” he was quoted as saying. Finnish labour unions fear the move could cost more than 5,000 jobs.
“In the horizon there is nothing that would be particularly horrible for Finland, or something that would give ground for the argument that Finland would not be treated well,” he said.
“This is not (for Finland) like what we have seen with the closures of pulp plant or paper plant. There is a huge shortage of telecommunication experts in Europe, and in Finland it is the same,” Ollila said.
Reporting by Jussi Rosendahl; Editing by Dan Lalor