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Major merger on the cards for technology giants

Rumours have resurfaced of a huge merger between Microsoft and Nokia.

The two massive names in the technology market first hinted at joining up last year, and now Nokia has announced that it will be putting a Windows operating system on their new smart phones. In return, Microsoft will integrate Nokia services into its own.

It could lead to what has been dubbed as a ‘mega-merger’, and such a huge move would rely heavily on the talents of the HR departments of each technology giant.

Finnish firm Nokia has so far not announced a move to Silicon Valley, as some had expected. It did, however, reorganise itself into two divisions, one oriented around smart devices, and the other around mobile phones. Each unit will own the customer experience and report profits and losses separately, executives said.

Such reorganisation inevitably succeeds or fails on the performance of HR, which is at the heart of what is essential joining together two distinct teams of people, in this case, from opposite sides of the world.

“We each bring incredible assets to the table,” Stephen Elop, Nokia’s chief executive, and Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive, said in a joint statement. “Nokia’s history of innovation in the hardware space, global hardware scale, strong history of intellectual property creation and navigation assets are second to none. Microsoft is a leader in software and services; the company’s incredible expertise in platform creation forms the opportunity for its billions of customers and millions of partners to get more out of their devices.”

But mergers are rarely smooth processes, and unions are already fearing that this one will lead to major job losses.

What do you think would be the biggest challenges for such a merger?

Have you been involved in something of similar scale? How did you handle it?