Rovio's Mikael Hed and Pekka Rantala
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.
The Chairman of the Board, Kaj Hed, has nominated Mikael Hed for a Board of Directors position. In addition, Mikael Hed has also been appointed as Chairman of Rovio Animation Studios, where he will oversee Animation and Movies.
The CEO transition will happen by January 1, 2015. Between now and then, Pekka will work closely with Mikael to ensure a smooth succession.
“It has been an amazing ride and in the coming months I will be very happy to pass the hoodie to Pekka Rantala, who will take Rovio to the next level,” Mikael Hed said. “Pekka is known to be a great leader with experience building successful global consumer brands. I will continue to play an active role and will support Pekka in any way I can to ensure Rovio’s continued success.”
Rovio Entertainment Ltd, the creator of Angry Birds™, is a global industry-changing entertainment media company headquartered in Finland that creatively combines digital with physical, breaking the boundaries of traditional content delivery. What started as a casual game in 2009 became an international phenomenon within a few months of its release. Today Angry Birds is the most downloaded game of all time and a globally known entertainment brand in publishing, licensing, animations, books and location based entertainment. Rovio's animated Angry Birds feature film is slated for July, 2016.