With another wave of restructuring underway, which would see Nokia lay off tens of thousands of employees over the next few years, conversations like these and the close but remote relationship that the two had established might soon come to an end.
What they and their fellow Nokians needed was a way to stay in touch. And so, with little fuss or fanfare, Rentrop and Parumog set up the ‘Beyond Nokia’ Facebook group.
“It’s a love story,” says Sotiris Makrygiannis, who was previously director of applications and site manager of Nokia’s Helsinki R&D center. “I’ve never seen such a large group of people adoring a company. It’s remarkable. All these tens of thousands of people lost their jobs and instead of hating the company, actually admiring the company”.
To understand why, Rentrop points me to Nokia’s old company slogan: Connecting People. “It was not just a marketing phrase,” she says, “for many members Nokia became a family”. That sentiment is echoed in the hundreds of messages and photos currently being posted to the group every hour.
To this day, the demise of so much of Nokia is a black page in the EU’s history. The deal with Microsoft should have never been allowed to go through, and there’s definitely grounds for more thorough investigation into the history and circumstances of the deal. Of course, it’s impossible to say if Nokia’s smartphone arm would’ve survived with Android, but I’m quite confident the company would’ve faced far better odds.
As I said from the very beginning: the moment Nokia decided to share the bed with Microsoft, was the moment Nokia signed its own death warrant.