Nokia is revising its aims in mobile and location-based services by creating a Location & Commerce business.
Handset maker Nokia-which
earlier this year revealed plans to team up with Microsoft on smartphone
operating systems-has announced that Michael Halbherr has been appointed
executive vice president to spearhead the company's revised mission in mobile
and location-based services.
Effective July 1, Halbherr
will become a member of the Nokia Leadership Team, reporting to CEO Stephen
Elop. Halbherr will lead a new Location & Commerce business, which will be
formed by integrating the Navteq business with Nokia's social-location services
The Location & Commerce
business will develop a new class of integrated social-location products and
services for consumers, as well as platform services and local commerce
services for device manufacturers, application developers, Internet services
providers, merchants and advertisers.
While continuing to serve
Navteq's existing customers, the Location & Commerce business will provide
opportunities through the integration of Nokia community data. In addition to a
portfolio of products and services for the wider Internet ecosystem, the
Location & Commerce business will also create integrated social-location
offerings in support of Nokia's strategic goal in smartphones, including Nokia
products with Windows Phones, as well as support for bringing the Internet to
the next billion-dollar level.
"Focusing on location
and commerce is a natural next step in Nokia's Services journey. We will
provide next-generation social-location applications and commerce to
differentiate Nokia. We also aim to extend our content and services offerings
to all consumers by making them available to partners and customers on a wide
variety of devices and operating systems," Elop said. "Michael is a
widely recognized authority in the fields of mobility and social-location
services, and I am delighted to appoint him to lead an area of our business
that will be crucial in Nokia's transformation strategy."
Halbherr has been with Nokia
since 2006, most recently leading the product unit in Nokia's Services
business, based in Berlin. Prior to joining Nokia in 2006, he worked for the
Boston Consulting Group and at europatweb, the Internet investment vehicle of
Groupe Arnault, overseeing all technology investments. In 2001, Halbherr became
CEO of gate5 AG, a supplier of mapping, routing and navigation software and
services globally. In 2006, gate5 was acquired by Nokia. Halbherr holds a
doctorate in electrical engineering from ETH Zurich, spending four years at the
MIT Laboratory for Computer Science.
Tero Ojanpera, who served as
the acting head of the Services business, will continue as executive sponsor of
Nokia's Bridge program designed to promote innovation and entrepreneurship with
employees affected by Nokia's workforce-alignment initiatives announced April
27. Under his leadership, the program will invest in facilitating
partnership with affected employees, local communities and a variety of
partners to support start-ups and create new business opportunities. Tero
Ojanpera will continue as a member of the Nokia Leadership Team.
Larry Kaplan, who has served
as CEO for Navteq, will continue to support the transition work for the new
Location & Commerce business through year's end. Elop announced Feb. 11
that Nokia, effective immediately, was making a major shift, and that Windows,
not Symbian, would be the company's primary focus.
The announcement comes at a
time when Nokia is struggling to retain market share in the face of rivals like
Apple and Samsung. Nokia's position as the top producer of smartphones may well
end this quarter, according to a forecast from Nomura. The company noted
competition from smartphone manufacturers such as Samsung and Apple will reduce
Nokia's share in the smartphone market, but thanks to a broad base of mobile
phone sales overall, Nokia is likely to keep its lead as the world's largest
mobile phone manufacturer.