Nokia’s Map Boss Quits as Brand Tries to Better Battle Google

Aug 20, 2014 10:00 am

Skift Take

Nokia’s Here is one of the few real rivals to Google Maps, but it still has a far, far way to go.

— Jason Clampet

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Nokia Here

The Here mapping product on iPad. Nokia Here

Nokia Oyj said Michael Halbherr, head of the Finnish company’s digital-maps unit, is stepping down to pursue entrepreneurial interests.

Halbherr is resigning effective Sept. 1, the Espoo, Finland-based wireless-technology company said today in a statement. Cliff Fox, a senior vice president at the maps unit, called Here, will become the division’s acting head.

Nokia is seeking to make the maps unit stronger against rivals such as Google Inc. to broaden its revenue sources beyond wireless-network equipment. The company is reshaping itself and expanding into new fields after selling its mobile-phone unit to Microsoft Corp. for about $7.5 billion in April.

Nokia built its location-technologies business by buying Chicago-based map provider Navteq Corp. for $8.1 billion in 2008 and 3-D map-technology maker Earthmine Inc. in 2012. Nokia provides map data to Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft, Yahoo! Inc. and about four out of five car-navigation systems.

“Now the time is right for me to focus once again on entrepreneurial activities,” Halbherr said in the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Adam Ewing in Stockholm at aewing5@bloomberg.net. To contact the editors responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net. 

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