Early this morning, Microsoft announced its intention to purchase Nokia's Devices and Services business for $5 billion. It also paid $2.18 billion to license Nokia's patents. It's a deal that many are surprised didn't come sooner, but Microsoft may have been waiting until it announced its reorganization before making the purchase.
In an email sent to all Microsoft employees by outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer, he lays out the rationale behind the Nokia purchase. More importantly, however, he announces some additional organizational restructuring that will take place once the Nokia purchase is finalized.
As already announced, Stephen Elop will be returning to Microsoft from Nokia as the head of the company's Devices team. He will oversee the creation of new Windows Phones while also working alongside current Devices and Studios head Julie Larson-Green on the Xbox One and Surface tablets.
Alongside Elop, some key engineering talent at Nokia will be joining Microsoft as well. Jo Harlow will be lead the Smart Devices team, Timo Toikkaken will lead the Mobile Phones team, Stefan Pannebecker will lead the Design team, and Juha Putkiranta will lead the integration of Nokia's Devices and Services business into Microsoft.
The Windows Phone 8 operating system team will remain unchanged throughout the transaction. Terry Myerson will lead the team, and the goal is to have the Nokia acquisition cause little to no disruption to their work.
Sales, Finance, Legal, HR, Communications, Customer Care, Business Development and other functions will be merged across both companies. Ballmer notes that Microsoft's number one priority at the moment is to merge his company's and Nokia's global marketing team. He says that it's very important for the two companies to "pursue a unified brand and advertising strategy as soon as possible."
On a final note, Microsoft says that it has no plans to relocate any of its new employees acquired through the Nokia purchase. In other words, the Nokia team will remain in Finland and Microsoft will coordinate with them as they work together towards improving the Windows Phone 8 ecosystem.[Image: I, -Majestic-/Wikimedia Commons]