Microsoft announced today that Thom Gruhler, former global managing partner of telecom & technology at McCann Worldwide, will be joining Microsoft as corporate vice president of Windows Phone Marketing.
At Microsoft, Gruhler, 42, will lead all advertising, marketing and communications activities for the Windows Phone division to create greater awareness and customer demand, according to the company’s news release.
At McCann Worldgroup,a global marketing communications company that includes McCann Erickson, Gruhler,previously held the titles of president of McCann Erickson; EVP, worldwide account director for McCann Worldgroup; and EVP group managing director at McCann Erickson, according to his LinkedIn profile.
He served as the global leader of McCann’s Verizon business, leading a team of agencies that developed the “Can you hear me now?” campaign, according to the Microsoft news release.
“Thom brings deep experience in the telecommunications industry, exceptional creativity and a proven track record of creating campaigns that connect with consumers,” Terry Myerson, corporate vice president and head of the Windows Phone division, said in the release.
Myerson had recently talked about how Microsoft needed, and planned, to do more marketing.
Microsoft’s smartphone platform — including both Windows Phone and the older Windows Mobile — had only 4.7 percent of U.S. smartphone subscribers for the three months average ended in December 2011, according to research firm comScore.
“Our biggest challenges are now are not with regard to building a product,” Myerson had said to a gathering of financial analysts last month. “I think the reviews are all great. The customer satisfaction scores are great. Our challenges are really about building consumer awareness.”
In response to an audience member who said he thought the pace of Windows Phone marketing seemed slow, Myerson had said: “It’s really taken time to build up speed. And we are unfortunately changing our marketing approach. Picking up speed again is going to take us a little time. And I’m not talking time in years. I’m talking time in months. We’re focused on marketing.”
(Photo of Thom Gruhler from Microsoft)