Angry Birds company Rovio's longtime CEO stepping down in January

By Daniel S Levine,

Mikael Hed, the longtime CEO of Rovio Entertainment - the company behind the addicting Angry Birds mobile game - announced on Friday that he will be stepping down in January. Pekka Rantala has been picked to lead the Finland-based company.

Hed has lead the company for the past five years, reaching heights few could have imagined with a game about catapulting angry birds at green pigs. The characters have become a global phenomenon and Sony is even developing a feature film. Rovio has also secured major licensing deals, so brands like Star Wars and Rio have received Angry Birds games.

Pekka has been in the consumer products business for two decades, working in various industries. He will take over on Jan. 1, 2015 and will work with Pekka to make sure the company sees a smooth transition.

Hed was nominated for the Board of Directors by the chairman, Kaj Hed. He will also stay on to oversee animation and movies at Rovio’s animation studios.

“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,” Hed said in a statement. “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.”

The Angry Birds movie is currently scheduled for release in July 2016. Hopefully for Pekka, interest in the games will not slow down. Then again, we all have an urge to smash those pigs.

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