Nokia Sells Vertu, Prepares to Lay Off 10,000 Workers

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Nokia has announced it will close its factories in Finland, Germany and Canada and lay off up to 10,000 workers before the end of 2013.

In this "sharpening of strategy" Nokia will focus on "products and experiences that make Lumia smartphones stand out and available to more consumers," invest in location-based services (Nokia Maps) and improve the competitiveness and profitability of its feature phone business.

[More from Mashable: Nokia to Launch Batman-Themed Lumia 900]

On the cutting side, besides closing the R&D facilities in Ulm, Germany, Burnaby, Canada and the manufacturing facility in Salo, Finland (the R&D efforts in Salo will continue), Nokia plans to prioritize its key markets, streamline IT, corporate and support functions and reduce costs in its non-core assets.

"We intend to pursue an even more focused effort on Lumia, continued innovation around our feature phones, while placing increased emphasis on our location-based services. However, we must re-shape our operating model and ensure that we create a structure that can support our competitive ambitions," said Stephen Elop, Nokia president and CEO.

[More from Mashable: Nokia Looks to Sell Vertu Brand for $265 Million [REPORT]]

The announcement comes only four months after Nokia announced it will cut 4,000 jobs globally as it shifts device assembly to Asia.

Furthermore, Nokia has laid off several high-level executives: Jerri DeVard, executive vice president and chief marketing officer; Mary McDowell, executive vice president of Mobile Phones and Niklas Savander, executive vice president of Markets.

Rising up in the corporate chain of command are Juha Putkiranta, the new executive vice president of operations and Timo Toikkanen who will replace McDowell as executive vice president of Mobile Phones. Chris Weber has been appointed executive vice president of sales and marketing, Tuula Rytila as senior vice president and chief marketing officer; and Susan Sheehan as senior vice president of communications.

Nokia also announced it has sold the luxury brand Vertu to private equity group EQT VI for an unspecified amount. The deal is expected to close during the second half of 2012, and Nokia will retain a 10% minority share in Vertu.

This story originally published on Mashable here.

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