Rovio hit with big departure: Laes steps down as EVP of Games

    Talouselema reports that Jami Laes is leaving Rovio to start his own gaming company, stepping down as Executive Vice President of Games.

    Angry Birds merchandise has infiltrated ever corner of your local cornershop but Rovio has had trouble following up with gaming hits, putting up titles like Amazing Alex, Bad Piggies, and Angry Birds Go! with moderate success. Today Rovio’s classic hit, Angry Birds, is their highest ranked title at #19 on the U.S. paid iOS charts, which translates to #236 on the Top Grossing charts.

    This December Rovio laid off 110 employees (less than their projected 130) as their CEO Mikael Hed passed the controls over to Pekka Rantala, CEO of former drinks maker Hartwall as well as a stint at Nokia.

    To put Laes’s departure in perspective, VentureBeat caught up with Laes last year at the Consumer electronic showcase where in an interview they discussed Rovio’s future and their move towards the entertainment industry. It’s a good read on where Rovio is going, but also contains the following quote: “It falls on Laes, Rovio’s executive vice president of games, to keep this juggernaut going.”