Harold Goddijn

Mobility Innovator Award 2020/2021

Harold Goddijn, CEO and co-founder of TomTom technologies brought the world one of the most revolutionary products in mobility since the sextant – satellite global placement system navigation. With a few clicks of a button, anyone with a GPS system can navigate themselves anywhere in the world.

Goddijn saw where technology could take us, at his first job with Psion making pocket computers (aka Personal Digital Assistants). After graduating from the University of Amsterdam with a degree in Economics, Goddijn moved to England to work for a venture capital firm. It was there he encountered the Psion Group, makers of “pocket-computers” and other innovative technologies. Goddijn teamed up with Psion and returned to his home country in 1989 to found Psion Netherlands, which quickly became one of Psion’s largest distributors.

Goddijn, his wife Corinne and two friends, founded their own technology company, hoping to work on their own vision of innovation. They opened TomTom in Amsterdam in 1991. Goddijn stayed at Psion and kept TomTom as a side project. It was not long before the small but dedicated team at TomTom introduced the world’s first mobile route planning device.

In 2001, Goddijn moved to TomTom full-time as Chief Executive Officer. One year later, they unveiled the world’s first street-level maps for PDAs. Their next big achievement came in 2004 with the launch of the TomTom GO, an all-in-one satellite navigation device that took the world by storm and changed the way drivers would go from A to B forever. Over the course of the decade, they sold more than 100 million devices. As TomTom continued to grow, they made an entry into the automotive world with many industry first products and services which led to partnerships with nearly all car makers from around the globe.

In 2016, Harold Goddijn and his wife were knighted in the Royal Order of Orange-Nassau by the Dutch Royal Family for their contributions to society. An avid and competitive sailor, Goddijn’s yacht (with him at the helm) Lionheart was crowned world champion of the 2017 mighty and majestic J Class race on Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island. Goddijn was born in Oegstgeest, Netherlands in 1960. He and his family are currently based in Amsterdam.

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1960

Harold Goddijn was born in Oegstgeest, Netherlands

1982

Started studying at the University of Amsterdam

1989

Founded Psion Netherlands in partnership with Psion Computers Plc.

1991

Co-founded Palmtop Software, which became TomTom

1996

TomTom introduced the world’s first mobile route planning device

1998

Goddijn was appointed managing director of Psion Computers

1999

Left Psion to work for TomTom full-time

2001

Officially named CEO of TomTom

2002

Launched the TomTom Navigator device

2004

Launched the revolutionary TomTom GO

2007

TomTom partnered with Toyota and unveiled the first car with an embedded navigation system

2016

Goddijn was knighted in the Royal Order of Orange-Nassau by the Dutch Royal Family

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