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Former Rovio CEO Will Try to Make This Phone Brand Relevant Again

CeBIT 2015 Technology Trade FairCeBIT 2015 Technology Trade Fair
Visitors look at Windows-enabled smartphones, including the Nokia Lumia series, at the Microsoft stand the 2015 CeBIT technology trade fair on March 16, 2015 in Hanover, Germany.Sean Gallup — Getty Images

HMD Global Oy, a new Finnish company looking to relaunch the Nokia brand for phones, said Monday it has hired Pekka Rantala, the former CEO of Angry Birds maker Rovio, as its chief marketing officer.

Nokia, once the world’s biggest maker of mobile phones, said in May it had signed an exclusive licensing deal with HMD to bring Nokia-branded devices back to the market.

A Nokia veteran, Rantala worked for the company from 1994 to 2011. He joined Rovio as CEO in 2015 but stepped down after only a year in the job after imposing deep job cuts and restructuring.

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Nokia (NOK) was wrong-footed by the rise of smartphones and eclipsed by Apple and Samsung. It sold its entire handset business to Microsoft (MSFT) in 2014 and now focuses on telecoms network equipment.

Microsoft has largely abandoned the business it acquired since then.

HMD’s Nokia-branded phones and tablets run on the Android operating system. The devices will be manufactured and distributed by FIH Mobile, a subsidiary of Foxconn Technology. It is yet to give any timetable for the products.