Nokia's CEO, Stephen Elop, has indicated his firm intent to reinvigorate the flagging company with the appointment of Jerri DeVard as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).
DeVard, a US national who has no past experience of working for cellular vendors, will take up her role as head of Nokia's newly created marketing and communications organisation starting January 1st.
The hiring of DeVard, who previously worked as VP of marketing and brand management with Verizon between 2003 and 2007, and prior to that as CMO for Citigroup's e-consumer business, has been seen as an indication of Elop's determination to break into the North American market. The company's previous CEO, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, was removed from the position due to his consistent failure to crack this market.
Commenting on the appointment, Elop said: "Her experience and proven track record from a wide range of consumer businesses will be a great boost to increasing consumer focus and will bring fresh thinking as we strive for a clearer value proposition for our consumers and continue to build the Nokia brand."
One close follower of Nokia, Gartner research vice president Carolina Milanesi, said that Nokia might be able to make use of her experience at Verizon to build a stronger brand in the US. "DeVard should be able to pull together the marketing messages from Nokia's various business lines and boost the branding of its online Ovi services, so the appointment looks like a positive move," Milanesi commented.
But these are turbulent times for Nokia with its latest N8 smartphone not being the breakthrough device many had hoped, the company's global mobile phone market falling to 28 per cent in the third quarter from 37 per cent a year earlier, together with recent news that Android had overtaken sales of Symbian as the most popular smartphone OS in the context of Asia as a whole, in both value and unit sales.
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