Microsoft gets the “Can you hear me now?” marketing man for Windows Phone

imageMicrosoft  today announced that Thom Gruhler, ex McCann Worldgroup, will join the company as corporate vice president of Windows Phone Marketing.

McCann Worldgroup Gruhler, 42, served as global managing partner of Telecom & Technology. Before that, Gruhler served eight years as the global leader of McCann’s Verizon business, leading a team of agencies that developed the iconic "Can you hear me now?" campaign and helped contribute to a period of unprecedented growth and success for Verizon.

As president of McCann Erickson New York, he also oversaw McCann’s key clients, including Mastercard, Kohl’s and McCann Worldgroup’s Sony Ericsson.

"Thom brings deep experience in the telecommunications industry, exceptional creativity and a proven track record of creating campaigns that connect with consumers," said Terry Myerson, corporate vice president of the Windows Phone Division at Microsoft. "Windows Phone is a uniquely compelling product, and Thom will help us bring that to life for our customers.”

"I’m excited to be joining an outstanding team at Windows Phone that has built an amazing product, which is starting to turn heads in a very competitive market," Gruhler said. "When you put a Windows Phone into someone’s hands they love it, which is the ideal place to start as a marketer. I’m looking forward to working with the team to build consumer awareness and excitement for Windows Phone products and the overall brand."

At Microsoft, 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 position was previously held by Achim Berg, who us now corporate vice president of operator channels at Microsoft, responsible for driving close collaboration with operator, hoster, cable and media partners.

Microsoft is rumoured to be preparing a $200 million marketing push for the Nokia Lumia 900’s release in USA, offering sales incentives of between $10-15 per handset to retail staff, with the goal to ensure “millions of Windows Phone handsets” will be sold in the next quarter.