TomTom Losing Interest in Personal Navigation Devices, Will Reduce Workforce by 10 Percent

Paul Lilly

Dutch GPS device maker TomTom isn't super confident in the future of personal navigation devices (PNDs) and is undergoing a restructuring effort that involves shifting its focus to pre-installed navigation devices in automobiles and fleet management applications. Unfortunately for some of TomTom's employees, the company's efforts also entail a 10 percent workforce reduction.

TomTom posted better than expected results in the third quarter of 2011 as the drop in PND demand wasn't as steep as predicted, but with smartphones and Google Maps taking over, there doesn't appear to be a long-term future in PNDs. So, TomTom is slashing its workforce by 10 percent, which is part of an effort to shave annual operating spending by €50 (around $67 million), according to a report in the Financial Times .

For TomTom employees, this is crummy news going into the holiday season, though for the company at large, it's just the beginning. TomTom also plans to shake up its research and development efforts to focus on ten specific product areas, which in turn will help the company "make innovation choices" and get products to market quicker, Harold Goddijn, chief executive of TomTom, told FT.

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