Nokia to expand design team

Nokia senior design manager Bill Sermon is looking to expand the in-house design team at Nokia’s UK office as the company, best known for its mobile phones, looks to broaden its scope within the communications field.

Sermon, who joined Nokia earlier this year from Fitch, where he was product design director, cannot be specific about the company’s plans. But, he says, “design is going to provide the leverage” for it to achieve its aims.

He intends to add a couple of people within the next six to 12 months to his team of seven designers at the Camberley office in Surrey. “I’m looking for experienced designers with good computer skills. People who are product-centred, but can think beyond the product.”

Sermon envisages using outside consultancies as well. Seymour Powell and Design Works are among those which have worked for Nokia in the past.

“Some commitments [to consultancies] are in place and will continue,” says Sermon.

Sermon heads one of a network of Nokia design centres, including offices in the Far East, Finland and the US. He is directly responsible to US-based vice-president Frank Nuovo. He says his job carries, “the challenge of being with a company at the leading edge” of communications, and hopes to bring to it an understanding of consumers and retail gleaned in 12 years at Fitch.

According to Fitch senior director for product design Clive Grinyer, Sermon will not be directly replaced. Grinyer, who joined Fitch last year, having been head of European design for Samsung, has overall responsibility for product design.

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