Redmond, Wash. - Microsoft telegraphed plans to step up its Windows Phone marketing efforts with the hiring of Thom Gruhler, formerly with McCann Worldgroup, as its corporate VP of Windows Phone marketing.
Gruhler will "lead all advertising, marketing and communications activities for the Windows Phone division and will work closely with product engineering teams and telecommunications partners to create greater awareness and customer demand for Windows Phone devices, software and services," the company said.
Gruhler was chosen because of his "deep experience in the telecommunications industry, exceptional creativity and a proven track record of creating campaigns that connect with consumers," said Terry Myerson, corporate VP of Microsoft's Windows Phone division.
At McCann, Gruhler was as global managing partner for telecom and technology, working with telecomm and technology brands around the world. Before that, Gruhler was the global leader of McCann's Verizon business, leading a team that developed Verizon's "Can you hear me now?" campaign. He was also president of McCann Erickson New York, where he oversaw such key clients as Mastercard, Kohl's and Sony Ericsson.
In the fourth quarter of 2011, the Apple and Android operating systems dominated sales of smartphones to consumers, according to The NPD Group. Apple's share of smartphones sold hit 43 percent, and Android's share hit 48 percent. Windows Phone, BlackBerry and Symbian accounted for the remaining 9 percent of smartphones sold.