TGIF! Welcome to another edition of Global Tech Roundup where we catch up on trending tech stories from across the world.
We have got the weekend and loooong Easter holidays on our hands. How are you spending yours?
In this edition:
Nokia is exiting Russia
Finnish telecommunications company, Nokia Corp is exiting Russia and booking a 100-million-euro provision for the first quarter of 2022, an official statement confirms.
Nokia operates from four locations in Russia, a main office and separate training centre in Moscow and offices in Saint Petersburg and Voronezh, but its business there only accounted for about 2% of group sales in 2021.
However, the company still expects to achieve its previous 2022 guidance.
The decision builds on a series of business decisions taken by the multinational business in the last few weeks. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Nokia halted deliveries and stopped new business in the Russian market.
In March, it also announced moving limited Research and Development (R&D) activities out of the country. The move echoes solidarity with Western sanctions on Russia.
On Monday, rival Ericsson suspended business indefinitely and placed its 600 employees on paid leave. The company had paused deliveries to customers in Russia in February.
Nokia will ensure internet connectivity and the continued flow of information which provides outside perspectives to the Russian people, despite the exit.
”This is the most responsible course of action for Nokia to take as we exit the Russian market”, the company wrote on its website.
The Elon Musk takeover
Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, isn’t done just yet with the ‘Twitter conversation’. He’s making a fresh $43 billion bid to take over the social networking platform, Technext reports.
Since his announcement as Twitter’s largest shareholder on April 4, a lot seems to have gone down. First, he declined an offer to join the company’s board of directors.
Also, Twitter employees initiated a protest against the appointment of Musk to the board. They are equally concerned about his planned takeover.
On Wednesday, a group of Twitter shareholders sued Musk for failing to disclose he had bought a significant stake in Twitter. US Federal law states that investors must inform the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), within 10 days, when they take more than 5% stake in a company. Musk allegedly passed the 5% mark by March 14 but didn’t inform the SEC till April 4.
With the $43 billion bid, he’s offering all shareholders $54.20 per share to sell to him, 38% more than the $45.85 per share it was on Wednesday, before Musk’s offer.
At a conference on Friday, Musk admitted he is “not sure” his takeover bid will be successful.
Per Reuters, investment bankers, investors and analysts said Elon Musk needed a blowout bid and more details on his financing for his take-it-or-leave-it strategy to work.
Google is luring its US employees with a $9.5 billion investment
On Wednesday, Google announced plans to invest US$9.5 billion in US offices and data centres this year. The multinational tech company says the move draws on developing local communities and economies in the country.
This new investment helps Google increase its data centre investment plan for the US by US$2.5 million. With the cash injection into the facilities, the company intends to create about 12,000 new jobs and data centres in Nebraska, Nevada, and Virginia.
Globally, workplaces haven’t stopped using hybrid and flexible models to keep employees engaged and offer value. But, Google’s US investment drive seems to disagree with these models.
Recently, the tech giant picked unconventional means to lure employees back to the workplace. At Google’s office in Boulder, Googlers are encouraged to balance work with play, particularly by paying a visit to its on-site arcade.
Also, Google employees in its Bay Area office have been invited to attend singer Lizzo’s private concert at the Shoreline Amphitheater later this month.
Google is not the only large tech company doing this. But these might be at odds with the bottom-line goal. Why? Only 3% of white-collar workers want to go back full-time.
Reacting to the use of perks by Google to lure employees, one Twitter user wrote: “Don’t all these ‘fun’ things just distract from the actual work?”
Last year was the most profitable year for Alphabet, Google’s parent company, since 2007, and that was with most of its workforce working entirely remote. Will arcades and concerts impede focus?
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