Angry Birds-maker Rovio said on Wednesday Pekka Rantala’s term as the chief executive of the struggling group will be limited to just a year, with chief legal officer Kati Levoranta taking over as the CEO from January.
Rovio has struggled as the popularity of Angry Birds, the top paid mobile app of all time, has waned. In August, it said earnings would continue to fall in 2015, for the third year in a row, and said it would cut more than every third employee.
Rantala took over as the CEO only in January 2015 from Mikael Hed, son of the main owner Kaj Hed. Mikael Hed ran the firm for five years, through the Angry Birds success story.
Rovio said the move comes as the company is shifting more operational responsibility and decision-making into its two business divisions Games and Media. Former CEO Mikael Hed will lead Rovio’s media business, including its licensing activities, and Wilhelm Taht will lead the company’s games unit.
“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,” incoming CEO Kati Levoranta said in a statement.
“As we move into the next phase of the Rovio story, we will be getting back to our entrepreneurial roots with the leaner, more agile organization that Pekka leaves us with,” said Kaj Hed, Rovio´s main owner and chairman.
Mikael Hed, who will lead Rovio’s media business including the production of The Angry Birds Movie, is a board member and co-founder of Rovio and serves as Chairman of the Rovio Animation Company.
Wilhelm Taht, who will lead the company’s games business, has previously served as Head of Rovio Stars, Rovio’s publisher of games produced by third-party developers.