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Nokia loses Here head

The direction of Here is uncertain

Nokia, or what’s left of it, looks to have suffered another blow as the head of its location based services division, Here, quits to focus on his own projects. Nokia’s Here unit was born out of the company’s $8.1bn acquisition of Navteq and was retained as a key pillar of Nokia following the purchase of its handset division by Microsoft last year.

But Michael Halbherr, an eight-year veteran of the company, is stepping down as the CEO of Here, to pursue his own entrepreneurial opportunities. He is also stepping down from Nokia’s Group Leadership Team, essentially saying goodbye to the company altogether.

Some reports suggest Halbherr did not see eye to eye with Rajeev Suri, President and CEO of Nokia, over the direction Here should take. The company has made some focus on the automotive sector but it remains to be seen how well LBS can be monetised.

Halbherr will be replaced by Cliff Fox, an SVP in Here’s Core Map Group on September 1 but the company is searching for a permanent replacement.

In related news, Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s former chief executive has resigned as a member of Microsoft’s board, effective immediately, cutting all last remaining ties.

Ballmer completed the $2bn purchase of the LA Clippers basketball team and has suggested this will now be his primary focus.

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