TomTom Confirms Hundreds Of Job Losses

Satnav giant TomTom says it will “reset” the organisation, which unfortunately includes hundreds of job losses at its Mapping unit

Dutch satnav giant TomTom International is to slash approximately 500 staff as it undertakes a “reset” of the organisation as a whole.

The firm announced the decision on Wednesday, saying the reset comes as it “further improved its mapmaking technology.”

The automation of its mapping efforts will be of little comfort to the hundreds of staff set to lose their jobs. Indeed, such is the scale of the job losses, that 10 percent of TomTom’s global workforce are facing the axe.

Job losses

TomTom is thought to have a global workforce of approximately 4,500 staff.

said that “engineering investments have resulted in an advanced automated mapmaking platform, which leads to a material change in mapmaking activities.”

“Higher levels of automation and the integration of a variety of digital sources will result in fresher and richer maps, with wider coverage,” said Harold Goddijn, CEO of TomTom.

“These better maps will improve our product offerings and allow us to address a broader market, both in the Automotive and Enterprise businesses,” Goddijn said.

TomTom said the improvement in its mapmaking technology will lead to material efficiency gains, and when combined with a better map, will strengthen the firm’s competitive position.

“Regrettably, this will have an intended impact on approximately 500 employees in our Maps unit, equivalent to around 10 percent of our total global headcount,” said the firm.

It said that the full assessment of the financial implications of the reset of the Maps unit is ongoing, and it will provide a further update when it publishes its second quarter results on 15 July.

Microsoft lawsuit

TomTom is a Dutch company that was founded in 1991 to develop business software, and has been providing directions to drivers since 2004, when it established itself as one of the leading GPS satnav device makers for the consumer market.

The arrival of the smartphone, and the bundling of rival door-to-door satnav systems with these handsets, saw the decline of usage of standalone GPS devices.

The firm was in the headlines in February 2009, when Microsoft sued it for patent infringements in TomTom’s Linux-based satnav systems.

Specifically TomTom was accused of violating Microsoft’s software patents on the FAT32 file system.

TomTom famously countersued Microsoft, alleging Redmond infringed four of its patents with its Streets and Trips program.

But in March 2009, TomTom settled the patent dispute by purchasing licenses from Microsoft to use the FAT32 file system.