Handset maker Doro undergoes $2.3M restructure as CEO departs

Doro handset (Doro)
Doro is a Swedish specialty handset manufacturer targeting seniors. (Image: Doro)

Swedish handset maker Doro is restructuring, in a move estimated to cost $2.3 million. With the CEO already on his way out, plans for the restructure include closing an R&D site in France and “staff optimization” in Sweden.

Jérôme Arnaud, the longtime CEO at Doro, will continue until a replacement is found; a search already is underway, the company said. It did not elaborate on the plans for staff in Sweden.

The company said it has delivered “impressive results” by targeting seniors, or those over 50 years old, but the board of directors wants to prepare for the next phase of its evolution with top management to be centralized in Lund, Sweden. Operating profit for 2016 is expected to be in lower than the outcome in 2015, but acting Chairman Johan Andsjö said in a statement that the company enjoyed high customer satisfaction and a compound annual growth rate of around 25% in the last five years under Arnaud’s leadership.

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Arnaud worked at Doro for almost 16 years, nine of which were as CEO. Arnaud himself said it’s been a “fantastic” professional journey and he wishes Doro and his successor well.

More information about the company’s new management team structure and development plans are expected to be released in February when the year-end 2016 report is released.

The company reaches more than 40 countries today. The company’s previous chairman, Magnus Mandersson, left the post in October, notes Mobile World Live. A longtime Ericsson veteran, Mandersson now serves as head of segment global services and advisor to the CEO at Ericsson.

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In the U.S., Consumer Cellular, which targets the 50-plus market and provides discounts to AARP members, has worked with Doro for many years on custom phones designed to be easy to use for the elderly. In March, Consumer Cellular introduced the Doro 824 SmartEasy, an Android smartphone developed specifically for the senior demographic, including a feature that allows caretakers or family members to remotely manage the device, making it an attractive option for seniors and their caretakers and families.

Another U.S. company targeting seniors is San Diego-based GreatCall, which was founded 10 years ago by wireless industry pioneers Arlene Harris and Martin Cooper. It got its start with a custom-made phone from Samsung targeted to the elderly and it offers services targeting seniors as well, with advanced features that can connect them to operators to help them show how to use their phones or for an additional monthly fee, a concierge medical and support service called 5Star. Last month, GreatCall CEO David Inn received the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2016 Award in the Services category nationally.

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