TomTom could be stepping back from wearable tech and action cams

Many key members of TomTom's wearable division have left the company
TomTom could be stepping back from wearables

TomTom is reassessing its place in the sports wearables market, following disappointing sales. Wareable has also learned that a handful of key executives have left the company, and that TomTom also shelved plans for a Bandit 2 action camera.

TomTom's Q2 earnings revealed a 20% year-on-year decline in consumer revenue, with TomTom quoting a poor performance in its Sports segment. "The wearables market has fallen short of expectations," said TomTom CEO Harold Goddijn in an investors call, "and because of this and because we want to focus on Automotive, Licensing and Telematics businesses, we are reviewing strategic options for our Sports business."

Needless to say that doesn't sound good, and Goddijn did not rule out possibly closing the Sports segments. "We need to look at it," he said. "We can't carry on as we are going at the moment."

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In the last few months we've seen some key players in TomTom's wearables division leave the company. Patrick Stal, VP of marketing for TomTom Sports, has recently left to head up marketing for Uber EMEA. He follows Gabriela Costa Grillo, also now at Uber, who served as TomTom's global product marketing manager for wearables until May this year.

We did a bit more digging and learned that quite a few other senior execs involved in TomTom's sports division have left the company in recent months. Andrew Stocks who was serving as TomTom's UK marketing director for sports left in January; Lindsay Mandeville, communications manager for TomTom Sports, left in December; Michiel Verberg, TomTom Sports' global partnership manager, left in May; George Sewell, VP of software for Sports left last month to go to Cirrus Logic; and Tom Brown, the head of the UK operation, left in April to join Jabra.

These all have followed the last round of redundancies, which took place in December.

A source familiar with the matter told Wareable that many of these positions have not been replaced, which is what's most concerning here, especially as all of these employees left around the same time. Our source further added that sales of the TomTom Bandit were also poor, and resulted in development of a planned Bandit 2 being shelved. Another shame, as we really liked TomTom's first action camera.

Speaking to Wareable, Gap Intelligence market analyst Jackson Somes said that TomTom's most recent releases, the Adventurer and Touch, had never made it to the US retail channel. "This is usually a sign of struggling consumer demand when merchants rely on a brand's older products and refuse to carry the latest generation," he said.

If TomTom is really quitting wearables it'll be a huge shame. We've watched the company evolve into one of the big players (even if that's sadly not reflected in recent sales), with some mighty impressive fitness and sports devices. If it is end of the road, we hope at the very least someone smart will swoop in and buy the Sports business. We've asked TomTom for comment but have not received anything at time of publication; we'll update if we hear anything.

TomTom steps back from wearables and action cams, shelves plans for Bandit 2


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