The management of Nokia France was received today by Benjamin Griveaux, the Secretary of State to the Minister of Economy and Finance. During this interview, Nokia explained its plans to adapt its organization in France, while reaffirming its commitment to fulfilling the commitments made at the time of the Alcatel-Lucent acquisition. These commitments relate to employment levels in France and the assurance that France will remain a key part of the Group’s innovation system.
In line with the commitments made, Nokia is deploying a recruitment program of 500 R&D engineers to be finalized by the end of 2018. In order to meet this target within the desired timeframe, Nokia has set up a program to accelerate these recruitments. To date, more than 190 engineers have already been recruited on the Lannion and Paris-Saclay sites to join the R&D and Nokia Bell Labs teams.
As part of the projects discussed with the government at the time of Alcatel-Lucent’s acquisition, Nokia must adapt its organization to reinforce Nokia’s position in France on research and development in future technologies and support to local customers.
This transformation program could lead to a reduction of 597 positions in all central functions and Networks’ support functions. Its implementation would be phased in in 2018 and 2019. Research and development functions are not covered by the program and will continue to be strengthened.
By mutual agreement between all parties, the decision was taken this morning to suspend the consultation procedure of this project until the next meeting scheduled on 2 October between the government, Nokia management and the representative bodies. The implementation of this program is essential to ensure the competitiveness of the company, so it is important to take the time to explain it well.
Despite a highly competitive and rapidly evolving telecommunication infrastructure market environment, Nokia strives to fulfill its commitments to the French authorities, in particular maintaining a high level of employment. The Group, which currently employs more than 4,000 employees in France, is continuously recruiting engineers to accelerate innovation. Nokia also recalled that it invested more than 200 million euros in the financing of French start-ups and the acquisition of French company Withings, specializing in connected health. Finally, Nokia is very much involved in the digital ecosystem of the country, with a priority given to 5G, cyber-security and the Internet of Things.
“These are very difficult decisions to take, but they are essential to enable the company to benefit from the skills and size necessary to seize the best opportunities in the markets of the future,” said Thierry Boisnon, President of Nokia France. “These reductions of positions do not call into question the commitments we had made with the French Government. Our priority today is to support each of our employees involved in the reorganization program by proposing a solution adapted to his personal situation,” he added.
Nokia intends to limit the social impact of this transformation program by encouraging volunteering as much as possible. The Group wishes to work with the employee representative bodies in a spirit of dialogue and mutual respect.
This program does not include Nokia’s two subsidiaries, Radio Frequency Systems (RFS) and Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN).