Heijari, who left the Angry Birds maker in 2013, returns as chief marketing officer for games business.
Rovio has struggled as the popularity of Angry Birds, the top paid mobile app of all time, has waned. The firm has cut jobs since popularity of the franchise peaked around 2012, making Heijari’s return stand out.
“Rovio has gone through some dramatic changes in the past couple of years. It’s a good time to be able to join the team and bring some original Rovio DNA into the mix,” Heijari told ArcticStartup.
Heijari headed first franchising and then brand marketing at Rovio 2010-2013. Since then he has been in senior roles at PlayHaven, Upsight, Vungle and Two Men and a Dog.
Rovio replaced its Chief Executive from start of 2016 and said it was shifting more operational responsibility and decision-making into its two business divisions Games and Media.
“We have completely re-focused our game development and marketing operations on a free-to-play model, and have an exciting time ahead with the movie release in May. In short, we’re perfectly aligned to continue building the Angry Birds franchise, and launch more games based on hot new IP!” Heijari said.
The long-awaited Hollywood production The Angry Birds Movie will premiere mid-May.