In the hours after Microsoft's announcement that it would be acquiring Nokia's devices and services business, Twitter has seen an outpouring of reactions from those affected by the merger. No one has more at stake than Nokia's employees; while Microsoft is committing to keep the base of its phone operations in Finland, it's also said it plans to cut $600 million annually in costs within the first 18 months after the merger. Needless to say, tensions are running high.
North American head of operator ecosystem Marc Kleinmaier's tweet underscores the uncertainty in the air while John Kneeland, a developer project manager at Nokia, points out what an emotional time it is for everyone at the company.
I work for Microsoft now (hopefully) ;). @Microsoft acquires @Nokia devices and services business: https://t.co/NfX7tKYS8q— Marc Kleinmaier (@gadgetman) September 3, 2013
Regardless of whether this MSFT move is for the best, it's an extremely emotional time for all of us at Nokia.— John Kneeland (@SirKneeland) September 3, 2013
Pino Bonetti, a senior marketing communications manager at Here, and Damian Dinning, former head of Nokia's imaging unit, are in the same boat:
I have teary eyes #nextchapter— Pino at HERE (@haikus) September 3, 2013
Trying to comprehend this mornings news, the mixed emotions running through my head as well as the various conspiracy theories over the yrs— Damian Dinning (@PhoneDaz) September 3, 2013
A lot of people were quick to point out the relative scale of the Nokia acquisition compared to other prominent deals in recent memory. Comparisons to Google's Motorola acquisition abound, but former Nokia Academy manager Dave Trevaskus really put Nokia's decline over the past five years in perspective:
Indicative of changing times - the Nokia/Microsoft deal is worth less than the Nokia/NAVTEQ deal five years ago.— Dave Trevaskus (@DaveTrevaskus) September 3, 2013
One common theme on social media revolves around Stephen Elop's motives for joining Nokia as CEO in the first place. Rumors of Microsoft's intent to buy the Finnish company's handset business date back as far as 2011, and while they may have been premature (and earned a quick dismissal from Nokia at the time), they've ultimately proved to be on point.
Many with former ties to the company, like ex-marketing manager Alexander Oswald, are upset with the company's fortunes.
Let#s #elop that company! Elop = hostile takeover of a company for a minimum price through CEO infiltration. #Nokia #Microsoft— Alexander Oswald (@_alexoswald) September 3, 2013
Former marketing technologies manager Russell Beattie echoes similar feelings.
If I was an institutional investor, I'd want to see every email Elop made over the past several years.— Russell Beattie (@RussB) September 3, 2013
While former VP Juha-Pekka Sipponen believes acquiring Nokia wasn't Microsoft's primary goal.
Trojan? Secret Plan A? Don't think so. Rather a self-fulfilling Plan B— Juha-Pekka Sipponen (@jpzip) September 3, 2013
But if there's one overarching sentiment other than melancholy and suspicion, it's pride in what Nokia has stood for over the years. Even though there will never be another smartphone bearing the name, for years Nokia singlehandedly defined the cutting edge in mobile technology. Former head of social media for North America, Phil Schwarzmann puts it best.
Well Microsoft, you just bought the coolest fucking brand to ever exist. I don’t blame you.— Phil Schwarzmann (@PhilSchwarzmann) September 3, 2013