Hecht’s scope of responsibility at Rand McNally includes implementing a connected strategy integrating mobile, portable GPS, and the company’s online maps and directions service as well as the company’s e-Commerce operations and Rand McNally’s travel content licensing on consumer and commercial personal navigation devices (PNDs).
“More than ever before, our growth opportunities and new partnerships will be in the area of digital products and services for the navigation, mapping, content and travel markets,” said Andrzej Wrobel, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rand McNally.
Until now Rand McNally, despite being a huge brand in the paper maps business in the United States, has completely missed the digital opportunity in the mapping and navigation business. At the end of 2006 the Skokie, Illinois-based company tried and failed in launching its own brand of PNDs. Its cell phone products (local search and turn-by-turn navigation, developed by TCS) have also lacked endorsement by wireless operators, hence visibility by consumers.
Andreas Hecht will face the challenge to make it right this time. A first PND maker has already licensed Rand McNally content: without much surprise, this is a German brand called NAVIGON.