Nokia today announced that Michael Halbherr has been appointed executive vice president to spearhead Nokia's revised mission in mobile and location-based services. Effective July 1, 2011, Michael 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 operations. 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 exciting new opportunities through the integration of Nokia community data. In addition to a broad 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.
"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," said Nokia CEO Stephen Elop. "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 leading supplier of mapping, routing and navigation software and services globally. In 2006, gate5 was acquired by Nokia. Halbherr holds a PhD 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 on April 27, 2011. Under his leadership, the program will invest to facilitate 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-end.