Former Rovio CEO Named As New Marketing Head Of Nokia
HMD Global Oy, the Finland based company that is planning to relaunch Nokia branded smartphones, has hired Pekka Rantala as the new chief marketing officer of Nokia. HMD Global had acquired part of Microsoft’s feature phone division back in May earlier this year and is pledging half a billion dollars to promote mobile devices under the Nokia branding over the next three years under a licensing deal spanning a decade. The new Nokia branded handsets will be produced and distributed by FIH Mobile, which is a subsidiary of Foxconn. The decision was part of a bigger deal that involves Microsoft selling its feature phone division to FIH for $350 million.
As for Rantala, he had worked as a senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Nokia before leaving the company and deciding to work for Rovio as CEO last year. A year later, however, Rantala stepped down, and as CMO of Nokia now, will have to focus all of this attention to bringing the Nokia brand back to life.
On the top of Rantala’s to do list will be to assemble a team comprising of marketers, branding specialists, and communications staff in order to be able to effectively rejuvenate the once formidable Nokia brand, whose dominance has severely faded in the last several years. Fortunately, in terms of brand familiarity, the Nokia name still enjoys remarkable recognition, even in the age of Samsungs and Apple’s.
Part of HMD Global’s plan is to offer Android powered Nokia branded smartphones in the near future. Such an undertaking would definitely let Nokia go back to the hardware segment without needing to deal with the usual narrow margins that most phone makers endure because of a global smartphone market that is getting competitive by the day. Also, it would allow the Nokia brand to penetrate emerging markets where its brand is still familiar and where it only has to compete with affordable Android powered handsets. There is no word yet on when exactly HMD Global is planning to launch the new Nokia mobile devices, but many industry watchers expect a release by next year at least.
Despite the challenges, Rantala should have the experience necessary to pull it off. All of his previous positions all involved consumers, and taking on the CMO job at Nokia should qualify as a homecoming of sorts. Rantala got his start at the Finnish company and logged through more than a decade and a half of service in Nokia before leaving as senior vice president of worldwide marketing.