For many years, Nokia was undoubtedly the company to beat in the global smartphone market. It seemed as if everyone had that Nokia “brick” at one point in their lifetimes. However, things rapidly changed for the Finnish company in 2007 after it lost a significant chunk of its market share. The company eventually was purchased by Microsoft, which willingly tried to resuscitate it, but they, too, ended up disposing of the company as well.
HMD Global, a brand-new Finnish company that just recently in May signed an exclusive licensing agreement for the Nokia brand, announced today that it has tapped former Rovio CEO Pekka Rantala as its new chief marketing officer.
Nokia has had a rough go of it
Nokia sold itself to Microsoft at the end of 2013 after attempts to go all in with Windows Mobile faltered. Microsoft then decided to fold Nokia into its mobile business, keeping the Finnish company’s brand on feature phones while building smartphones under the newly integrated Microsoft Lumia smartphone line.
Earlier this year, Microsoft got rid of the feature phone side of its business, due to declining sales, and manufacturing company Foxconn then bought it up for a cool $350 million. As this was happening, Nokia signed an exclusive licensing agreement to HMD, which plans to build smartphones under the once-loved brand, which would be manufactured and distributed by Foxconn.
A light at the end of the tunnel for Nokia
This week, Nokia added some legitimacy to its ambitions by naming Pekka Rantala, the former CEO of Angry Birds creater Rovio, as chief marketing officer. Rantala stepped down at Rovio after a difficult year at the company, as profits fell drastically. The exec worked at Nokia for a number of years during the 1990s and 2000s, the years of which many would call Nokia’s “golden years.”
HMD, which is currently run by former Nokia and Microsoft executive Arto Nummela, now has full control of the Nokia brand concerning mobile devices for the next decade. Their partnership with Foxconn will allow the company to produce Android-powered Nokia smartphones and tablets, and plans to invest $500 million in marketing new Nokia devices.
While no release details have been revealed yet, certainly some news regarding the partnership will see the light of day soon enough. Interestingly, years after one company pushed the other out of the mobile market, Android and Nokia will partner up with one another in the end.