Nokia taps former Rovio man Rantala to market relaunch

Maker of phones nobody has bought in years hires ex-boss of game nobody has played in years

angry bird

The relaunch of the Nokia mobile brand will include the man who once ran mobile games maker Rovio.

HMD global Oy, owner of the Nokia brand rights, said that longtime executive Pekka Rantala will become chief marketing officer of the company, effective immediately.

Most recently the chairman of Jot Automation, Rantala is best known for his stint as the chief executive of Rovio and its famed Angry Birds franchise. Rantala stepped down from that job in December of 2015 following a failed effort to expand its marketing reach.

Rantala is no stranger to Nokia. Prior to leaving for Rovio, he spent 17 years working in the Finnish phone giant's marketing, sales, and operations departments, eventually becoming senior VP of global marketing.

HMD said that as chief marketing officer, Rantala will first oversee the building of Nokia's marketing and communications teams as well as the hiring of "brand specialists" to help lead the charm offensive in Nokia's efforts to re-introduce itself into the consumer mobile space.

"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," Rantala said of his appointment.

"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."

The relaunch of Nokia under the care of HMD was formally announced in May of this year, but has been widely anticipated for much longer.

The plan calls for HMD, which is run by Nokia alums, to release Android tablets and handsets with the Nokia branding while using the old device sales channel bought back earlier this year from Microsoft, which will continue to sell handsets under the Lumia banner. ®




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