HMD taps Nokia veteran to revive Nokia smartphone brand

Nokia, HMD

HMD Global, the newly formed company looking to relaunch the Nokia smartphone brand, has appointed Nokia veteran Pekka Rantala as its Chief Marketing Officer.

Rantala spent 17 years at Nokia, holding various sales, marketing and operational roles at its mobile phone business, and exiting as Senior Vice President for Global Marketing in 2011.

He subsequently joined Rovio Entertainment, creator of the Angry Birds franchise, as CEO.

Rantala was most recently Chairman of Finnish firm Jot Automation.

HMD announced an exclusive 10-year licensing deal in May for sole use of the Nokia brand on smartphones feature phones and tablets.

The company said it will spend more than $500 million (€443.5 million) over the next three years on marketing “beautifully designed” Android-based devices with the Nokia signage.

The deal with Microsoft, which owns the Nokia consumer devices brand, also includes cellular standard essential patent licenses.

Rantala is seeking to recruit a team of brand, marketing and communications team to re-establish the Nokia brand in the market.

Arto Nummela, another Nokia alumnus and CEO of HMD, said: “Pekka has an important mission to rejuvenate the Nokia brand in mobile phones.

"He is an experienced consumer marketer who knows how to run global operations and teams, and is passionate about the Nokia brand.

“Branding has become a critical differentiator in mobile phones, and 96 percent of global mobile phone users are familiar with the Nokia brand, our unique asset.

"We know people around the world are excited about a new wave of Nokia phones, and we are working hard to create a beautiful range of Nokia-branded devices that people will love.”

Rantala said: “There are very few opportunities like this, to work with a global brand with the power to touch hundreds of millions of people every day.

"It is a privilege to work with this unique brand, to engage with the millions of dedicated Nokia phone fans around the world and create a generation of new ones.

"We are going to bring together a new team of talented people who can build something incredible.”

HMD’s Nokia-branded devices will be manufactured and distributed by Foxconn subsidiary FIH Mobile.

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