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Chief Angry Bird Steps Down, Does Anyone Even Care?

Rovio is changing CEOs. Not a shock. Who cares?
This article is over 9 years old and may contain outdated information

Recently, several news outlets have reported about Rovio CEO, Mikael Hed, stepping down as head of the Angry Birds. It must have been a slow news day or something, because after its 2009 debut, does anyone even care?

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Angry Birds has had an incredible run under Hed, with 12 sequels made to the original game, and spawning its own cartoon series, not to mention its enormous merchandising empire. It’s amazing that this simple game has become such a global hit, however, I figure a lot of that has to do with this Finnish company’s stealing a page out of it’s Scandinavian neighbor, Ikea, in giving instructions with no words, and just pictures.

According to Business Insider, the company’s profits had fallen 52% in FY 2013, and revenues had onl gone up a mere 3%, while the headcount ballooned from 500 to 800 employees. (WTF??? Have they heard about outsourcing out there?)

It’s amazing that a single game could build an enormous company, and their subsequent attempts at making anything other than Angry Birds flopped almost immediately.

Personally, I really don’t care about this news, but it just seems to have popped up in a lot of places where I figured it wasn’t really news. The company can continue to make another 100 sequels, and I don’t think anyone would really notice.

We all know that the mobile gaming space is way oversaturated by now, so the fact that a once mighty mobile game company is falling now really isn’t news. It started with Zynga’s one-hit wonder, Farmville, and their bloated egos into thinking that they were kings, only to be ironically taken over by a company called King, which is now well on its way into the shitter after it’s one-hit wonder, Candy Crush Saga.

Rovio has now announced that Pekka Rantala, the company’s Chief Commercial Officer who joined in June, will take over the reigns come January 2015, when the switch occurs. He comes from Nokia, where he was the SVP of Worldwide Marketing.

Maybe I’m being too pessimistic on Rovio and Angry Birds. What do you think? I don’t think bringing in this new CEO who seems to have very little background in the world of mobile games, and comes from a company that has pretty much lost its dominance in the mobile phone space will do much for bringing it back. Let me know what I’m missing in the comments below.


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mchiu is an old-timer, falling in love with video games since the introduction of Pong. Nowadays, his passions in gaming center around social and political issues, game development, promotion of games as an art form, promotion of games as sport, and the business and economics of games.