Nokia loses top technologist and former Symbian CTO Charles Davies to TomTom

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Nokia is having a rough month. First, it saw itself forced to cut its outlook for the second quarter and the full year, and now The Register reports that the Finnish company has lost one of its top tech brains.

Charles Davies, former Symbian CTO and notably the first employee and later managing director of Psion, is leaving the mobile juggernaut to take up an unknown role at navigation giant TomTom.

The latter company has confirmed his appointment to The Register, and promises to provide more details on the recruitment of Davies later.

As The Register notes, there’s a link with TomTom’s current management team from Davies’ Psion days.

TomTom’s rise from software company to consumer hardware was piloted by his former colleague, Psion silicon architect and former CTO Mark Gretton (who now oversees all technology at TomTom). Another senior Psion hardware guy, Ken McAlpine, joined TomTom two years ago after a few years as head of engineering at Apple, where he was involved in the development of the MacMini, AppleTV and iPhone among other products.

Davies’ departure means quite the loss for Nokia Oy. The man was until recently heading the 200-person strong strategy and architecture team for Nokia R&D, a role he has held ever since the company acquired the Symbian staff two years ago.

Like Nokia wasn’t under enough pressure from Apple, RIM and the Android machine as it is.

  • Satish

    Top Technologist and to TomTom? I bet he wont be moving unless TomTom’s moving into Cell phone domain? TomTom phones coming ..? similar to Garmin Phone? may be

    • rina

      Nokia had their chance to own the mobile market during the early 2000, but everything changed when D’ Draconian Apple emerges. Nokia should focus their idea on a single product. Hopefully, its new superphone can boost their plummeting sales a bit.

    • My Locator ®

      making a cell phone will not work for tom. cell phone innovation is already a flooded cut throat market. lost cause. they should focus on becoming a gps utility app for products, services and discounts that hybrids mobile and the internet. Interesting that these GPS companies have all got on the “My” bandwagon, mygarmin, mytomtom, mytelnav and none have harnessed the most powerful term for internet and mobile location based services……locator.

  • michael aubert

    Several ex-Symbian people have been moving to TomTom recently.

    Davies is also viscerally hated by many former Symbian Java Group engineers. Java is just an application as far as he’s concerned, you see.

    Good riddance.

    Shame for the good people at TomTom.

  • encoder

    nokia was never under pressure. they still sell more phones then any other company. twice as much as samsung, the one under him. and bout 25 times more units then apple.

    so where is the pressure? smartphone market is still in it’s infancy.

    Robin, please do some research before panicking.

  • Oflife

    Nokia have got to concede defeat and adopt Android. Their new N8 may have a great camera (better than any other wireless device in the world), and an interesting shape, but the user experience is just not up to scratch. Blending their innovative form factors with Android would save the company. MeeGo is too late.

    • Suzan

      You don’t know what you are talking about, the Symbian^3 in N8 is amazing!!! Great multitasking, terrific video edition, best music player and a very cool picture viewer. User experience is on pair with Iphone and way better than Android. The only drawback so gar is their crappy Nokia web browser, but you can download Opera, where its Symbian version is way better than Iphone and Android!

      • Oflife

        Sorry Suzan, I don’t mean to be a ‘troll’, but as a human factors designer (since 1981), I will state without any doubt that there is NO comparison between the N8 GUI and iPhone. I am unbiased – I have a Nokia 5230 budget music smart phone right here, and like some of the intelligence within the OS, but it is a usability nightmare. And I have seen the YouTube demos of the N8. It is not up to scratch and Nokia need to hire a world class graphic designer / human factors expert to overhaul each and every one of their device. I would like to take that roll myself, but I don’t have a high up ‘in’ at Nokia. I actually love much of what they do (the GPS & mapping on my 5230 is way faster and more accurate than that on my since sold iPhone 3GS), but there is a lack of robustness and usability. Another plus to Nokia, the voice recognition and character recognition are excellent and way better than Apple’s voice recognition. And the lack of stylus input on Apple’s iDevices is a massive error. So, I will critique Apple where appropriate.

  • Ben Marks

    that is quite amazing considering the fact tomtom is losing its market for waze…

  • Kristoffer Lawson

    I think you’re taking this completely the wrong way. Nokia have been (finally) talking about how MeeGo is the way forwards and Symbian will not be up there on the top devices. This is the tight time for the Symbian CTO to decide to leave.

  • WulfCry

    Still like Symbian dont send in the drones yet.

  • Charles Davies, one of the top technologists no more with Nokia now | News » Nokia Reviewz

    […] 28 Jun 10 Charles Davies, one of the top technologists no more with Nokia now Charles Davies Charles Davies, one of the top tech brains of Britain, a PhD in Plasma physics, was first employed in 1981 by Psion and because of his hard work he was appointed at the MD position of Psion Computer. Psion created its own silicon and pioneered popular mobile innovations such as flash memory. He stayed with the company until Psion withdrew from the consumer market in 2001. Later he joined Symbian as CTO in 2003. Since Nokia acquired the Symbian staff two years ago, he was heading up the strategy and architecture team for Nokia R&D. But now Nokia is losing its one of the most efficent employee, as Charles Davies is going to join navigation giant TomTom. The role which he will be playing with TomTom is not revealed till now. But this is a big loss to Nokia as Nokia is already facing loss in revenue from first quarter this year and now the loss of top tech brain. Charles Davies was heading a 200 person strong strategy and architecture team for Nokia R&D since the Symbian company was aquired by Nokia. Charles Davies has joined his fellow colleagues at TomTom who were previously with him in the Psion Computers. They are Mark Gretton and Ken McAlpine. Now the question that arises here is: Who will be handling this strategy and architecture team of Nokia R&D? Will there be any one who can take place of Charles Davies ? Lets see how fast can Nokia appoint a person and of course, how capable! [via TechCrunch] […]

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    […] że N8 jest ostatnim smartfonem z tym systemem. Koniec ery Symbiana w Nokii przypieczętowuje odejście Charlesa Daviesa, pracownika nr 1 w firmie Psion, która opracowała systemy EPOC (wcześniejsza nazwa systemu […]

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  • Anonymous

    I think Nokia cellphone is one of the best cellphones in the world. Do you think so?

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