Rovio, the maker of Angry Birds, has a new CEO. Pekka Rantala succeeds founder Mikael Hed in the position.
The move comes after Rovio’s profits fell 52% to €26.9 million in fiscal 2013, on revenues that ticked upward only 3% to €156 million. Staff headcount, meanwhile, ballooned from 500 to 800.
Hed had run the company for five years prior. He will become chairman of Rovio Animation Studios, the company’s movie division, and likely ascend to a post on the board of directors.
The move seems to indicate that Rovio is aware that it needs an experienced outsider to get it back on track.
The mobile games business is notoriously difficult: Games are essentially fads, and the Angry Birds fad is long over — eclipsed in part by Supercell’s Clash of Clans and King’s Candy Crush Saga. Rovio has extended the life of Angry Birds impressively; the game is now in its 13th different iteration. It also spawned a merchandising and media empire — which probably cushioned its revenues, according to Techcrunch.
King is going through a similar wrenching search for new revenues and new users. Its stock was crushed after its last earnings call when it reported lighter than expected revenue and a sequential drop in users.
Mikael Hed passes the hoodie — Pekka Rantala to succeed as CEO of Rovio in 2015
Espoo, Finland — August 29, 2014 — Rovio Entertainment — After more than five years of leading Rovio and successfully turning Angry Birds into a global entertainment phenomenon, Mikael Hed will be succeeded as Chief Executive Officer by Pekka Rantala on January 1, 2015.
Pekka Rantala has more than 20 years of international leadership experience within branded consumer products in various industries.
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