Rovio CEO Leaving 'Angry Birds' Company After Just One Year

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Rovio, the company behind the successful Angry Birds mobile franchise, today announced that its current CEO Pekka Rantala will be stepping down from the role after just one year in office. As Retuers reported, Rantala's time at the company included multiple job cuts and restructuring plans within Rovio, and his tenure coincided with the company's first reported profit decline since the launch of Angry Birds in 2009.

angry birds movie screen
The company has now announced that chief legal officer Kati Levoranta will take the reins as CEO in the first quarter of 2016, after Rantala officially vacates the position. It also revealed a new initiative where "more independence" will be given its two biggest branches: games and media. Mikael Hed, former Rovio CEO, will lead the media branch while Wilhelm Taht, the current head of external products, will take the lead on the games side. According to the company, this corporate-wide policy change is what spurred Rantala to step down.

"We used to have a corporate model with centralized decisions, but that resulted into too slow reacting in very competitive markets," chairman and main owner Kaj Hed told Reuters in an interview. "As the CEO will not be so hands-on anymore, he (Rantala) felt that it wasn't for him anymore."

Earlier in the year, reports confirmed that 2014 included Rovio's first major profit decline due to a lessening interest by fans in the company's physical consumer products like clothing and toys. Rovio's profit decline from 2014 also led to the forecasting of impending decline this year, causing 213 jobs to be cut at the company back in October.

The Finnish developer's Angry Birds franchise brought the company huge success, but has seen diminishing returns recently. At the time of the decline in profit announcement, Rantala hung hope on the impending launch of Angry Birds 2 and next summer's The Angry Birds Movie as ways to bring the franchise back into the public consciousness.

Top Rated Comments

newdeal Avatar
67 months ago
Angry birds was a somewhat fun game that was novel when the first iphone was released. I honestly believe that its time has past and they need to either evolve the franchise or abandon it. It seems like the market has shifted more towards puzzle games than bird flinging
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheRealTVGuy Avatar
67 months ago
Love the pic you guys used for this story!

I wonder if this is an indication of Rovios direction, or if this was a personal move.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dysamoria Avatar
67 months ago
Another corporation that doesn't understand the inevitable decline in profitability for a random lucky fad? You can't perpetually capitalize on a fad.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CFreymarc Avatar
67 months ago

"Rovio's first major profit decline due to a lessening interest ('https://www.macrumors.com/2015/03/19/rovio-reports-profit-decline/') by fans in the company's physical consumer products like clothing and toys."

The only time you find Angry Birds clothes or toys now are at Walmart or Big Lots. No kid wants that stuff anymore, just parents who don't want to spend more than $5 for a shirt.

Also, the initial fan base of Angry Birds is in their next phase of life. Angry Birds needs to either find a new generation of kids to sell or mature the product line to follow their fan base.

What's really missing in the Angry Birds franchise is a good First Person Shooter of enough quality beyond "popping pigs" and creative ways to collapse a perilous scaffolding.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
0098386 Avatar
67 months ago

Angry Birds is a puzzle game.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angry_Birds_(video_game)

It's as much a puzzle game as playing Call of Duty and planning who to shoot next makes that a puzzle game.

I still have the app on my device. It's fun once in a while if waiting in an office or something, but I can't believe how far they've pushed the franchise.

I imagine they felt they had something as iconic as Mario or Zelda on their hands. And it might have worked if the sequel was solid, but there you go.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Zetaprime Avatar
67 months ago

The game was fun when it first came out, then it expanded tremendously and too quickly. Then Angry Birds Go came out and changed the way the games are paid for. That was the decline. You could only play 5 times before you had to wait to recharge, then you could play again. That's when micro-transactions showed up too. They even changed Transformers to make it even more difficult than the way it began to make it harder to not avoid micro-transactions. Angry Birds 2 also is the same wait to recharge or pay to keep playing. Just terrible.

Too much exposure, too much greed, not enough different franchises.

The game would be much better if there was an option to buy it outright and have gameplay like the previous paid versions of Angry Birds games.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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