Nokia’s Head of NFC Leaves; Latest Departure from Handset Maker's NFC Team
The head of NFC at Nokia, Jeremy Belostock, has left the handset maker, the latest departure from Nokia’s NFC staff
Belostock, who served in the post at Nokia for four years before leaving this month, has taken a position outside of the NFC industry, as head of group strategy with France-based mailroom equipment maker Neopost.
Belostock’s departure follows that of Damien Balsan, Nokia’s head of NFC business development for the Americas and Mikko Saarisalo Nokia’s senior technology architect, who represented Nokia in the NFC Forum trade group, an organization Nokia co-founded.
Both Balsan and Saarisalo left in the fall, Balsan to become director of ecosystem partnerships at PayPal, Saarisalo to take a position at mobile-wallet vendor C-Sam. Mark Selby, vice president for industry collaborations at Nokia, a position covering NFC and other industries, left at the end of last year. He lists his status now as independent.
It’s unclear how many of the departures are the result of reorganization at Nokia. Balsan, the high-profile point man for Nokia in North America, was probably recruited by PayPal as part of the eBay division’s aggressive push into mobile payment. Belostock told NFC Times that Neopost recruited him.
Nokia has expressed its continued commitment to NFC, including by CEO Stephen Elop, despite the staff departures and the absence of NFC from its first Windows Phone devices, introduced last year. Nokia is betting on Windows Phone to help it make a comeback against smartphone rivals Samsung Electronics and Apple.
Nokia is expected to introduce its first NFC-enabled Windows Phone devices later this year. Microsoft’s next version of the mobile platform, Windows Phone 8, expected to be released later this year, will come with strong NFC support.
There was no word yet on Belostock’s replacement at Nokia. He had served as head of NFC sales and marketing for Nokia in 2007 before being named head of NFC.
Nokia introduced the industry’s first NFC phone model about seven years ago and released the first NFC-enabled smartphone carrying an NFC chip in October of 2010, the Symbian-based C7, though the NFC function wasn’t turned on immediately.
Nokia this year put NFC chips in several other models of its fading Symbian platform as well as the MeeGo N9 and will support it for all remaining devices with these platforms.