Last week, a press release that we missed at first was the fact that Rovio has had a few management changes. The release focused on the fact that Pekka Rantala has been named as as Chief Commercial Officer, and gives a small mention at the end that Blanca Juti has been named as CMO from her previous position as EVP of Brand for Rovio
A new CMO begs the question though, what's up with Peter Vesterbacka, the company's longtime CMO?
We reached out to Vesterbacka, who was traveling for Rovio in Singapore, and heard what he had to say.
To get our first question out of the way, Vesterbacka is still with the company, but says he's now focusing of a few special projects that he can't share much about right now. It sounds like his unofficial title, the "Mighty Eagle", has become his official role, while Juti's unofficial role has now become her official role.
"We're just bringing in more people for the management team," Vesterbacka tells us. "We're a bigger company and we need more people to strengthen the ranks."
Without knowing much about how Rovio's management structure worked or didn't work, Vesterbacka has been everywhere public as the face of the company rather than the hidden CMO pulling the strings and coordinating marketing efforts in the background; anyone that's been following Vesterbacka's Twitter feed knows that he's been spending an unhuman amount of time on the road ever since Angry Birds started taking off.
After reporting flat profits last year, Rovio has a busy year ahead of them with more game releases, and most notably more noise being made on the entertainment side. Rovio is has planned a 2016 movie release and is growing up its own distribution channel for animated content, called ToonsTV, which is just starting its second season, among more theme park openings and other pushes that will be keeping both Juti and Vesterbacka busy.
Catching up with Vesterbacka, it was interesting to hear what he's been spending in time in China and Singapore for. Rovio has been building up a learning concept called Angry Birds Playground based somewhat on the Finnish National Curriculum for Kindergarten while plugging in the familiar Angry Birds characters. You don't hear them hyping it in the press too much, but it's an interesting long-game play for the company and a potentially very large market.
According to their info page, "Children will have access to Angry Birds learning materials such as activity books, toys, physical games, educational posters, mobile math, reference books, a five string instrument, game cards and physical activity games on an interactive whiteboard," which should get them educated and thinking Angry Birds from a young age.