New Angry Birds CEO a 14-year Nokia veteran

Chris Burns - Aug 29, 2014, 9:43 am CDT
New Angry Birds CEO a 14-year Nokia veteran

The second generation at Rovio (developers of Angry Birds) has begun. Their first CEO, Mikael Hed, has stepped down, making way for former Nokia exec Pekka Rantala to take over starting in January. Mikael Hed is the fellow that’s been the face of Rovio since Angry Birds first took off, founding the company, reminding gamers and citizens to “pop pigs” whenever he had the chance. Now with profits taking a bit of a dive, Rovio is in for a change.

The switch will take place on the first day of 2015. It’ll be then that Pekka Rantala will take over Rovio as CEO, while Mikael Hed has been appointed as Chairman of Rovio Animation Studios. He’ll be in charge of Animation and Movies – programs that didn’t exist just a few short years ago.

An Angry Birds feature film is being prepared for release in July of 2016.

“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,” suggested Mikael Hed this week.

Rantala previously held the following positions:
2013- 2014 Hartwall, CEO
2011- 2013 Fazer, Managing Director, Fazer Brands (bakery, confectionery and cafés & shops businesses)
1994- 2011 Nokia
2008- 2011 Senior Vice President, Marketing (responsible for NOKIA’s
marketing, worldwide)
2006- 2007 Senior Vice President, Customer and Market Operations,
Europe (resp. for NOKIA’s business in Europe)
2004- 2005 Senior Vice President, Marketing, Multimedia Business Group
2000- 2003 Vice President, Marketing Nokia Mobile Phones EMEA
1998- 2000 Managing Director, Nokia Mobile Phones Italia
1996- 1998 Managing Director, Nokia Mobile Phones Austria and Switzerland
1994- 1995 Export Manager, Nokia Mobile Phones EMEA

Also – not listed by Rovio in their release – is the fact that Rantala also served as Chief Commercial Officer for Rovio since June of this year. Three months as CCO, then on to CEO. A very speedy boost!

What do you expect this former-Nokia man to bring to the creators of Angry Birds? More Windows Phone versions of the game? Or a whole new direction?

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