Andry Birds Maker Rovio Appoints Pekka Rantala as New CEO

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Rovio Entertainment Ltd, the creator of Angry Birds mobile game announced the appointment of Pekka Rantala as the new chief executive officer of the company. Rantala will replace its current CEO Mikael Hed, who will step down from his position effective January 1, 2015.

Rantala joined Rovio Entertainment as chief commercial officer on June 2 this year. The Angry Birds maker emphasized that Rantala has more than 20 years of international leadership experience in sales and marketing of consumer brands in different industries.

He previously served as SVP, Marketing at Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) where was responsible for the worldwide go-to-market activities of the company. Rantala also worked as managing director of Fazer Brands and CEO of Hartwall, Finland.

Mikael Hed to serve on Rovio’s Board

Mikael Hed will join the board of directors of Rovio Entertainment. He will also serve as chairman of Rovio Animation Studio.

“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. 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.” said Hed in a statement.

Rovio’s profit declined last year

Rovio Entertainment’s Angry Birds emerged as one of the most popular and leading mobile games for several years. The players of Angry Birds use a slingshot to attack pigs that steal bird’s eggs. The company expanded the brand into an animated TV series and sold clothing and toys.

The Finnish mobile games creator struggled to retain its players, and its profit declined by nearly 50% from €55.5 million to €26.9 million, last year.

During a previous interview with Wall Street Journal, Hed explained that the strategy of Rovio Entertainment to transform its business model from pay-to-play to a free-to-play took longer than expected. He also admitted that its most recent games were unable to become financial hits.

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