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Nokia’s Smartphone Marketing Chief Leaves After 15 Years

Nokia Oyj (NOK1V)’s marketing executive for smartphones has left the company a month after misleading marketing materials about a new Lumia model made headlines.

Ilari Nurmi, head of product marketing for smartphones, has left Nokia after 15 years, he wrote in an Oct. 7 Twitter posting. James Etheridge, a company spokesman, declined to comment on the reason for Nurmi’s departure or his replacement. Nurmi couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Nokia last month apologized for not making clear that a promotional video and photos within a promotional clip weren’t captured with its new Lumia 920 smartphone. The gaffe drew attention to Nokia’s marketing tactics at a time when the Espoo, Finland-based company is seeking to revive its business by challenging Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPhone and handsets running on Google Inc. (GOOG)’s Android software.

“I wish Nokia all the best and look forward to getting Lumia 920 once available,” Nurmi wrote in the posting.

Nokia is touting its camera technology and the Lumia’s operating system from Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) as reasons for consumers to buy its devices.

A video advertisement last month showing off the device’s camera technology was questioned by The Verge blog hours after the phone was demonstrated in New York. The video showed a woman riding a bicycle down a road and as she passes a parked trailer, the reflection in a window reveals a large white van with lighting equipment and a cameraman hanging out of the door filming.

Image Stabilization

While the video gave the impression that it was shot using the Lumia 920, Nokia never claimed that was the case. The company, in a blog posting apologizing for the confusion, said its aim was to demonstrate what can be achieved using the image- stabilization technology.

Nokia last year abandoned its home-grown Symbian operating system and began using the Windows operating system from Microsoft, where Chief Executive Officer Stephen Elop used to work. On Sept. 5, Nokia introduced Lumia 920 and 820, two new models that run Windows Phone 8, the newest version of the program that Nokia is betting on to lure customers away from Apple and Google. The phones will face off against the iPhone 5, which was unveiled on Sept. 12 and shattered the first-day sales of previous versions.

The Finnish company said today Deutsche Telekom AG (DTE)’s T- Mobile USA will exclusively carry the Lumia 810, which features an 8-megapixel camera and a 1.2-megapixel Skype HD certified front-facing camera.

Nokia shares were unchanged at 2.04 euros at the close of trading in Helsinki. The stock has lost 46 percent this year, valuing the company at 7.6 billion euros ($9.9 billion).

To contact the reporter on this story: Adam Ewing in Stockholm at aewing5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net

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