Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced this morning that Nokia will move its mobile phones Xpress division from the southwest suburb of Itasca to downtown. The move will transfer 150 jobs and add an additional 100 positions as the company builds up the division in the West Loop.
Nokia’s largest North American office is already located in Chicago and employs 1,200 people; this move will bring its employment number up to about 1,450. The 100 new jobs are going to be a variety of highly skilled technology roles.
“We are looking for software developers, and system architects,” said Ogi Redzic, vice president of Nokia Locations, Commerce and Traffic. “We are hoping to attract those people and bring them to Chicago.”Emanuel said Chicago already leads in transportation, distribution and logistics.
“When it comes to traffic and also location on the mobile device it is now becoming a center point of that type of research and technology,” Emanuel said.
Nokia’s move from Itasca will be the 10th corporate regional/divisional headquarters the mayor has announced since taking office. This move helps support one of the 10 growth strategies in the city’s economic growth and jobs plan that Emanuel announced earlier this year.
Nokia was working with the company World Business Chicago to help find a new location. On Aug. 1, Mayor Emanuel met with Stephen Elop, Global chief executive of Nokia, to convince the company to move the Xpress division.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Chicago can be a gateway city to recruit large wireless companies like Nokia.
“We are not second to anybody in the development of this technology and it is now the 10th headquarters, since I’ve been mayor, that has chosen Chicago as a place where they see the most promising area for growth,” Emanuel said.
Sarai Flores, Trevor Greig, Michelle Phelan and Karla Venegas contributed reporting.