Bloomberg: Internal high-level conflicts affecting Nokia’s 5G performance

Bloomberg run a report this morning citing a worker representative for senior salaried staff at Nokia in Finland claiming that senior management has been distracted by staffing issues and internal politics since the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent, thus losing focus on 5G.

Last week Nokia announced that the company is halting dividend payouts and cutting outlook for 2019 and 2020, as well as increasing investment in 5G R&D. That announcement resulted in a 25% stock price loss and even speculations about sale of Nokia appearing in Finnish media.

Lasse Laurikainen, the worker representative Bloomberg talked with, said that the execution needs to be sharper and that inside Nokia the leadership is engaging in “pure politics” and “some are favoring their nationals and rejecting common ways of working.” With the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia doubled its headcount so struggles integrating two big companies were expected, but maybe not as much.

Bloomberg mentions that 85% of Nokia’s European workforce is outside Finland, with analyst Mikael Rautanen from Inderes pointing out the frequent changes of management of the mobile networks (3 managers in 3 years) is a sign that something is not ok there. The increase in R&D is a good step, mentioned analysts Janardan Menon and Olivia Honychurch, but Nokia needs to ensure stable senior management for better efficiency.