Nokia's ( NOK) telecom equipment joint venture still expects to reduce its workforce by 9,000 jobs, sending Nokia shares lower on worries about how handset makers and networking companies are dealing with the global economic slowdown. In May 2007, Nokia Siemens Networks said it would cut about 9,000 jobs following the launch of the venture between Nokia and German conglomerate Siemens ( SI). The company said Tuesday that 6,000 positions have already been eliminated and that it continues to expect the cuts to total 9,000 employees. When Nokia and Siemens announced the joint venture in June 2006, the companies said they expected a headcount reduction in the range of 10% to 15% of their combined global workforce. "With the successful completion of these plans, we will have the vast majority of the synergy-related headcount reductions completed and we can then start to put this chapter of our history behind us and focus on creating a world-class company," said Simon Beresford-Wylie, chief executive officer of Nokia Siemens Networks, in a statement. Nokia Siemens' job cuts come after several other telecom equipment and handset makers announced their own headcount reductions. On Monday, Nortel Networks ( NT) announced plans to eliminate 1,300 jobs as it aims to flatten its corporate structure, eliminate or consolidate executive and management positions, freeze salaries and extend its existing hiring freeze through 2009. Last month, Motorola ( MOT) said it would also cut 3,000 jobs. Co-CEO Greg Brown said two-thirds of the cuts will come from the mobile devices segment. The layoffs and other moves will save the company $800 million next year, Brown said.
Additionally, Sony Ericsson, the Stockholm-based joint venture between Sony ( SNE) and Ericsson ( ERIC), recently reiterated its commitment to achieve 300 million euros ($414 million) in cost savings over the next year, which includes a reduction of 2,000 employees and consultants worldwide. Shares of Nokia were losing ground after the announcement, falling $1.10, or 7.4%, to $13.75. Siemens was off 8% to $51.84. Motorola was down 4.7% at $4.29, Nortel was dropping 13.3% to 82 cents and Ericsson was sliding 8.5% to $6.38. Among other related companies, Juniper Networks ( JNPR) was down 4.5% to $16.45. Cisco Systems ( CSCO) was off 2.2% to $17.19. Qualcomm ( QCOM) and Alcatel-Lucent ( ALU) were unchanged.