Marko Ahtisaari

Marko Ahtisaari by Joi Ito

Marko Ahtisaari (born 1969[1] in Helsinki, Finland) is a Finnish technology entrepreneur and musician. Ahtisaari has been CEO and co-founder of two technology companies: Dopplr (acquired by Nokia in 2009)[2] and Sync Project (acquired by Bose in 2018).[3] After the acquisition of Dopplr, Ahtisaari was executive vice president of Design at Nokia[4] and later a Director's Fellow at the MIT Media Lab.[5] He is a composer, bassist and singer in the band Construction.[6]

Early life

Marko Ahtisaari is the son of Martti Ahtisaari, a former UN diplomat and President of Finland, and Eeva Ahtisaari, the former First Lady of Finland. He attended Columbia University, where he studied philosophy, economics and music.[7]


Ahtisaari's business career started at a new media company Satama Interactive in 1998. In 2002 Ahtisaari left the company to join its biggest client, Nokia. He was appointed Director of Design strategy in 2005. In 2006, he left Nokia and joined his former boss, Nokia CEO Pekka Ala-Pietilä to start an advertisement-supported mobile network Blyk.[8][9] In 2007, Ahtisaari became the founding investor and CEO of online business travel startup Dopplr,[10][11] which was acquired by Nokia in 2009.[12] Between February 2009 September 2013 Ahtisaari was Head of Product Design at Nokia.[13][14] In January 2012, he was appointed as a member of the Nokia leadership team.[15] Ahtisaari announced his resignation from Nokia when Microsoft acquired Nokia's devices business in September 2013.[16]

Ahtisaari is co-editor with Laura Houseley of Out of the Blue: The Essence and Ambition of Finnish Design (Gestalten 2014) a survey of Finnish Design.[17] Ahtisaari and Finnish entrepreneur and journalist Jaakko Tapaninen co-authored the book 10x Finland (Teos 2015) for the Finnish-speaking audience on the impact of digitalisation on a country like Finland. The book is based on original interviews with international persons of interest in technology and media including Joi Ito, Stefana Broadbent, Tyler Brule, danah boyd, Joshua Cooper Ramo, and Bret Easton Ellis. In its review the Finnish National daily Helsingin Sanomat called 10x Finland "one of the most interesting books written in Finnish on the effects of digitalisation."[18] Ahtisaari contributed the essay "Intelligent Travel" to the Freesouls project.[19]


Ahtisaari's band Skizm - together with percussionist Mauro Refosco, trumpetist Michael Leonhart, bassist Dan Cooper, singer Carolyn Kelley, and drummer Tobias Gebb - received a NARAS Grammy Showcase Award for new artists.[20]


  1. ^ "f-secure board profile page".
  2. ^ Bradshaw, Tim (28 September 2009). "Nokia maps a path to Dopplr's door". Financial Times. Retrieved 2018-04-13.
  3. ^ "Sync Project Joins Bose". Sync Project. Retrieved 2018-04-13.
  4. ^ Levy, Steven. "Nokia's Visionary Wants to Out-Design Apple". Wired. Retrieved 2018-04-13.
  5. ^ "Announcing the Director's Fellows Second Cohort". Medium. 2 December 2015. Retrieved 2018-04-13.
  6. ^ "The Final Nail in Nokia's Coffin". The Verge. 17 June 2015. Retrieved 2018-04-13.
  7. ^ Levy, Steven. "Nokia's Visionary Wants to Out-Design Apple". Wired. Retrieved 2018-04-13.
  8. ^ Press - Conversations
  9. ^ ""Nokia's Pekka Ala-Pietilä and Ahtisaari started an operator" Nokian Pekka Ala-Pietilä ja Ahtisaari perustivat operaattorin". Digitoday. Retrieved 2008-05-10.
  10. ^ "Dopplr Receives Funding from Premier International Team: Varsavsky, Ito, Hoffman and Klein invest in online social-travel service". 2007-09-04. Retrieved 2008-05-11.
  11. ^ Johnson, Bobbie (2007-07-30). "". Guardian. Retrieved 2008-05-11.
  12. ^ "Nokia buys social media website Dopplr". Retrieved 2022-06-30.
  13. ^ "GOOD DESIGN Interview - Nokia Design Team". Ahtisaari. Retrieved 2022-06-30.
  14. ^ "DGAP-UK-Regulatory: Nokia outlines new strategy, introduces new leadership, operational structure". Retrieved 2022-06-30.
  15. ^ Nokia appoints Marko Ahtisaari to Nokia Leadership Team - Nokia Press Release January 26th 2012
  16. ^ "Marko Ahtisaari, Nokia's Top Designer, to Leave Company in November". AllThingsD. Retrieved 2022-06-30.
  17. ^ "Designing Finnishness for Out of the Blue". City of Sound. Retrieved 2018-04-13.
  18. ^ "Näin digiaika murentaa demokratiaa". Helsingin Sanomat. 30 November 2015. Retrieved 2018-04-13.
  19. ^ Ahtisaari, Marko. "Intelligent Travel". Retrieved 2022-06-30.
  20. ^ "Doors of Perception 7 on Flow". 2003-03-31. Archived from the original on 2008-05-04. Retrieved 2008-04-19.

External links

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