The wheel of fortune symbolism is clear: as Apple prepares to break ground on a new UFO-esque HQ, the former kingpin of mobile, Nokia, is quietly preparing to move out of its own headquarters — to make way for Microsoft.
Finland’s Taloussanmat reports that Nokia will be moving out of its current headquarters (pictured above) in Espoo, Finland, once the sale of its Devices & Services unit to Microsoft goes through in Q1 next year. That $7.2 billion deal is still pending all the necessary regulatory approvals, but was rubberstamped by Nokia shareholders yesterday.
The no-longer-mobile-making Nokia won’t be going very far. Nokia staff who aren’t transferring to Microsoft — some 32,000 are — will be moving out of the Espoo HQ to another building nearby in Karaportti, one which Nokia actually owns.
Nokia was forced to sell its current HQ at the end of last year to raise some much needed money, leasing back the premises on a long-term lease — which presumably Microsoft will be taking over.
Nokia provided TechCrunch with the following statement, confirming the planned move:
The vast majority of people in the building are working on Devices & Services related activities, so the building will become a Microsoft site. This is still targeted to be finalised in Q1 2014. People who will work for Nokia post-transaction will relocate to a building nearby that Nokia already owns. This building is currently being renovated in Karaportti, this is a campus we have had for many years. Of course, all regulatory approval will have to be in place prior any personnel movement.
Microsoft has said Finland will become its phone R&D hub, after the acquisition of Nokia’s Devices & Services unit.
“We have no significant plans to shift around the world where work is done. We want it done where it is done today,” said Steve Ballmer, speaking at the press conference announcing the acquisition back in September.
H/t to @whatthebit