If there’s one area that Yahoo has been strong in over the past several years, it’s partnerships in mobile around the world. The company’s deals with OEMs (like the most recent one with Nokia), ensure the company has had a foothold in the quickly growing mobile space despite not having an actual phone like rival Google. Holger Luedorf was the Senior Director in charge of those types of deals. Now he’s left the company, and is joining Foursquare — a company which Yahoo just unsuccessfully tried to buy.
Luedorf is joining the Foursquare business development team as Vice President, Mobile and Partnerships, we’ve confirmed with the company. His focus will be on “creating awesome partnerships with mobile carriers and OEMs that get Foursquare apps distribution on handsets around the world,” Foursquare General Manager (Foursquare’s cute title for COO) Evan Cohen tells us. He’s already left his job and Yahoo and will start at Foursquare next week, we’re told.
This is a very smart hire for the location-based startup. While they’ve had success in the U.S. thanks to the rise of app stores by Apple and Google, OEM deals remain extremely important in the rest of the world for getting your service on mobile devices. Basically, it sounds like Luedorf’s job will be similar to the one Kevin Thau holds at Twitter. Thau has been vital in the company’s international growth, signing deals left and right to ensure Twitter is available through large portions of the world through SMS.
I also asked Foursquare how their funding is coming along — they avoided that question. But you can bet it’s coming along quite well (Andreessen Horowitz is the winner there, according to our sources) if they’re able to hire Luedorf, and the dozen or so other employees they’ve hired recently.
[photo via Luedorf’s Twitter]