updated 08:20 am EDT, Wed June 22, 2011
New division will focus on location-aware services
Nokia has announced two developments in its restructuring effort. The company appointed Michael Halberr executive vice president of the new Location & Commerce business unit, which will merge the NAVTEQ business with the company's social location services operations. The company also said the plans to outsource Symbian software development and support activities to Accenture had been finalized. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop has committed to supporting Symbian through 2016.
Nokia's new Location & Commerce business unit will focus on developing location-aware products and services to link consumers with local merchants. Nokia expects the new division will focus on consumers as well as device manufacturers, software developers, merchants, and advertisers. The use of Nokia's community data will play a key role in developing new applications for smartphones. Nokia says the new division will be critical to its overall goal in the smartphone market, including its efforts to shift to Windows Phone as its primary smartphone platform. The company says it will continue to serve NAVTEQ's current customers.
The arrangement reached with Accenture calls for approximately 2,800 Nokia employees located in China, Finland, India, United Kingdom and the United States to move to Accenture. The change is expected to take place in the early part of October, 2011.
Halbherr has been with Nokia since 2006, when Nokia acquired navigation software developer gate5 AG. Former NAVTEQ CEO Larry Kaplan will remain with the new division through the end of 2011 to support the transition. Acting head of services Tero Ojanpera will continue as executive sponsor of Nokia's Bridge, which encourages employees affected by the restructuring to pursue entrepreneurship.