Struggling Nokia downsizes in move to London

Paddington to be the platform for a fresh attempt to revive the fortune's of the Finnish mobile firm

Mobile phone giant Nokia is to move its head office to London as part of the turnaround of the struggling Finnish firm.

Nine months ago its chief executive told the phonemaker's staff that they were "standing on a burning platform" and would have to jump into the "icy waters" below. The company is making 4,000 job cuts globally and as part of the restructuring it will close its large head office in Farnborough and relocate to to an office in Paddington in central London. Staff were told of the latest restructuring decisions in London last week.

But it has emerged that Nokia is close to selecting a 60,000 sq ft office near Paddington station. The development at Kingdom Street is already home to mobile phone network operators Vodafone and Orange as well as retailers Marks & Spencer and Kingfisher.

Nokia is in the middle of a turnaround and following the job cuts it launched last week a new phone – the Lumia 800. The phone has been well received but Nokia has a long way to go. Before the launch of the iPhone in 2007, Nokia was the main provider of mobile phones in Europe. It remains the world's biggest mobile phone manufacturer but its global share of sales last year fell below 30 per cent for the first time. It has to compete with Google's Android offerings alongside Apple's iPhone.

Nokia teamed up with Microsoft in an attempt to keep up in the fast-paced tech telecoms world and the Lumia 800 is the first product from the tie up. It has also announced it will launch a tablet rival to Apple's iPad that runs on Microsoft's Windows platform in the summer of 2012.

Nokia's design team is already in a small office in Soho. But Nokia hopes the move to Paddington will boost its credentials in the tech telecoms world. The space is more expensive than offices outside London, but the smaller space – 60,000 sq ft to house up to 400 people – is less than a quarter of the size of its current office in Southwood, Farnborough. Nokia announced in April 700 of its 2,400 British staff would lose their jobs.

It had originally looked at alternative offices in Woking, Weybridge and Stockley Park near Heathrow, but it decided central London would improve the calibre of people it could attract to the firm.

But it has snubbed Tech City in East London – the area promoted by the Government for technology companies to move to – an area that stretches from Silicon Roundabout at Old Street eastwards to Stratford.

Nokia is not the first business to turn down the East London area. Telefónica, Europe's largest telecoms company, has preferred a central London location.

Despite the snubs by Telefónica and Nokia, Tech City has attracted Google, which has committed to opening a hub for start -ups.

Last week, Tech City organiser Kevin Eyres, a former European managing director of LinkedIn, published an appeal for at least 70 more mentors to add to the existing 30 to advise the infant tech enterprises in the area.

Nokia could not confirm details of the move but said that staff had only been told "a new location for UK employees will be found in London". A spokesman said: "Our choice is dictated by the design of the building, the surrounding area and facilities and good transport links."

CBRE advised Nokia.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Graduate Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 per annum + commission: SThree: Sthree have an exciting opportunity for...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £32,000+

£18000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - B2B, Corporate - City, London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Neil Pavier: Commercial Analyst

£50,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you a professionally qualified commercial ...

Day In a Page

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public