It’s always one economy of the world or another that suffers when a multi-national corporation fires a large number of its employees; in the case of Microsoft’s latest downscaling of its phone business, the heaviest weight again fell on Finland, whose government has, as expected, publicly voiced its displeasure with the Redmond company on Thursday, reports Reuters.
To be fair, it’s not the first time there was bad blood between Microsoft and Finland, nor that one of its moves has shaken the Northern European country’s economy. In 2014, Microsoft acquired most of Nokia – the former pride of Finland – for $7.2 billion. In the same year, in the biggest restructuring in the history of the company, right after CEO Satya Nadella came into power, 18,000 jobs were cut, most of which came from the just-acquired Nokia phone business in Finland.
“I am disappointed because of the (initial) promises made by Microsoft,” “One example is that the data center did not materialize despite the company’s promise.”
– Alexander Stub, Finance Minister, Finland
The move has been credited with contributing to the country’s ongoing economic stagnation. For its part, Microsoft has reportedly promised to invest more heavily into Finland to make up for the job cuts, a promise it apparently had not been able to keep, two years down the road.
“The company must bear as big a responsibility as possible over what they have done by laying off people,”
– Jari Lindstrom, Employment Minister, Finland
It is understandable, then, that the new round of layoffs, which again largely targets the phone business in Finland, resulting in 1,350 more unemployed Finnish citizen out of 1850 worldwide, has evoked a strong response the country’s government, who promises “serious talks” with Microsoft about its responsibility in helping the affected. We can only hope that as Microsoft continues its transformation according to Nadella’s vision, the company will not have to do something similar again for a long while yet.Further reading: Finland, Microsoft, smartphone