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
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Guru Careers: Pricing Analyst

£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst to join a leading e-...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K YR1: SThree: At SThree, we like to be dif...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is a mul...

Guru Careers: C# Project Team Lead

£55 - 65k (DOE): Guru Careers: A unique opportunity for a permanent C# Develop...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor