Nokia's mapping CEO steps down

Nokia has appointed Cliff Fox as acting head of its Here mapping business from Sept. 1, after the division's current CEO, Michael Halbherr, resigned.

NSN CEO Rajeev Suri

 Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri praised Halbherr's success at Here

Fox is currently senior vice president of Here's Core Map Group and will head up the division while Nokia searches for a full-time replacement for Halbherr, who is leaving the company to pursue other business interests.

Halbherr was only officially appointed as CEO of Here in April, but has been a key figure in Nokia's mapping efforts since 2006 when the Finnish company acquired his gate5 business, ZDNet reported.

Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri said Halbherr "played a key role in making Here one of the strongest players in its sector" during his eight year career with the Finnish company.

Halbherr stated the time is right "for me to focus once again on entrepreneurial activities," after helping to "create a leading location cloud company widely recognised across industries, by customers and by opinion leaders."

Despite the bright picture painted by Suri and Halbherr, the incoming CEO of Here will need to address flat sales and declining operating profit at the business. In the second quarter of 2014 the division slipped to break-even from an €8 million ($10.6 million) operating profit in the same quarter of 2013, while sales were flat year-on-year at €232 million due to currency exchange fluctuations.

Here has become a core division for Nokia after it completed the sale of its mobile device business to Microsoft in April. The mapping business forms one of three main business areas for Nokia, including its Networks business and Nokia Technologies, its new technology licensing division.

Suri praised Here's progress in the company's Q2 earnings statement; in particular its success in the automotive sector. The division increased the number of map data licences sold for embedded navigation systems from 2.7 million new vehicles in Q2 2013 to 3.3 million vehicles in the recent quarter. Suri said the company will "continue to invest to expand in this area, as well as in the enterprise and consumer markets."

For more:
- read Nokia's statement
- see this ZDNet article
- view Nokia's Q2 results

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