Rovio chief to ‘pass the hoodie’ on

Struggling to reach the next stage, Angry Birds will attempt to fly different trajectory

Angry Birds: Maker makes move for new leader

Angry Birds: Maker makes move for new leader

Sat, Aug 30, 2014, 01:08

Rovio, the Finnish maker of the hit mobile game ‘Angry Birds’, is replacing its chief executive as it attempts to tackle falling profits and competition from rivals.

Mikael Hed, who had run Rovio for five years, said he would “pass the hoodie” to Pekka Rantala, a former senior staffer at Nokia and chief executive of Hartwall, a Finnish drinks firm, from the start of next year.

The move indicates that the company is looking for an experienced leader that may help it restore its business.

After reporting strong growth in the previous three years, Rovio reported that its profits fell 52 per cent to €26.9 million in 2013, with revenues largely flat at €156 million. In 2013, staff numbers increased from 500 to 800.

‘Angry Birds’ was one of the earliest hits in the era of smartphones, downloaded more than 2 billion times so far.

But the mobile games industry has shifted away from paid-for apps towards a “freemium” model, used by titles such as ‘Clash of Clans’ and ‘Candy Crush Saga.