Rovio CEO to step down as company mulls M&A - Mobile World Live

Rovio CEO to step down as company mulls M&A

10 DEC 2015

The CEO of Rovio, Pekka Rantala, will step down at the end of the year as the company aims to create a “leaner, more agile organisation” and get back to its “entrepreneurial roots”.

Its chairman, Kaj Hed, also told Reuters the Angry Bird maker will look into the possibility of a merger or acquisition.

“There is a clear need for some consolidation to take place here (in Europe), and that is something I’m interested in,” he said.

“As the competition gets tougher, it requires certain scale. There will be a big change in the sector ahead, because it hasn’t settled yet. We are of course interested in participating when that change happens,” he added.

Rantala will be replaced by chief legal officer Kati Levoranta.

In October, Rovio announced 213 job cuts, saying it wants to “restructure and concentrate its activities around three primary business areas: games, media and consumer products”.

It is pinning its hopes on the upcoming Angry Birds Movie to turn fortunes around, in which it has reportedly invested $100 million.

“When the success came to us, we weren’t ready, it came so quickly,” Hed said. “Now, we are able to handle everything around the (upcoming) movie in a more systematic and professional way.”

Management restructure
Rovio wants to shift more operational responsibility and decision-making into its games and media divisions.

Board member Mikael Hed will lead the media side, including licensing activities and production of The Angry Birds Movie. Wilhelm Taht, previously head of Rovio Stars, Rovio’s publisher of games produced by third-party developers, will lead the games unit.

Kati Levonranta

The new CEO (pictured) said: “We are now positioned to make the most of the release of The Angry Birds Movie in May and some exciting developments in the games and consumer products portfolios throughout 2016.”

The company said current CEO Rantala “successfully led Rovio through a period of change and strengthened the company’s focus” and will stay on until the end of the year to ensure a smooth leadership transition on 1 January, 2016.

Rantala, for his part, said that since the company has “sharpened its organisational focus and set the table for an exciting 2016”  it was the right time to step down.

Aside from being chief legal officer since 2012, Levoranta had been heading the company’s sales for the EMEA region since March 2015.

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Saleha Riaz

Saleha joined Mobile World Live in October 2014 as a reporter and works across all e-newsletters - creating content, writing blogs and reports as well as conducting feature interviews...More

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