Vodafone: ZYB founder takes over Wayfinder as CEO (UPDATED)

Tommy Ahlers
Tommy Ahlers
Wayfinder System, a Swedish mobile navigation and location-based services provider recently acquired by Vodafone, has seen his CEO replaced last week by a decision of the new board of directors. Tommy Ahlers, who was the founder and CEO at ZYB, another acquisition of Vodafone (May 2008), has been chosen as the new CEO to replace Magnus Nilsson.

This announcement came as a surprise, especially because Vodafone had negotiated in the prior weeks a retention arrangement of €1.1 million with former CEO Magnus Nilsson, as revealed in the acquisition papers filed by Vodafone.

Another sign demonstrated that some decisions were made at the last minute: Wayfinder was supposed to exhibit at Mobile World Congress and its booth was even built on the showground when the company decided not to appear at the show, resulting in a deserted booth in the middle of the crowded Hall1 of the Barcelona Fira.

At this stage it is still unclear how Vodafone will play out this LBS software acquisition. It is likely the wireless operator will launch a number of location-based services, just as they did with ZYB across Europe in the recent months. However, unlike the ZYB service, many Vodafone subsidiaries have already launched a navigation offering and signed contracts with providers, particularly with Telmap in several European countries.

UPDATE on 27-02-09
Magnus Nilsson, who was not available at the time of publishing, wrote us today that “On amicable terms I have exercised my right to resign based on a change of control clause in my employment agreement. I will be assisting the new CEO, Tommy Ahlers during the next couple of months.”

Wednesday, February 25th 2009

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