By Sahil Patel
Rovio Entertainment, the company behind the hit Angry Birds franchise, will have a new boss in 2015.
Current Hartwall CEO Pekka Rantala will succeed outgoing Rovio chief executive Mikael Hed, who has been at the helm of the company for more than five years, starting January 1, 2015. Until that date, Rentala will work closely with Hed to “ensure a smooth succession,” said Rovio.
Following the transition, Hed will remain at the company. Rovio chairman Kaj Hed (Mikael’s father) has nominated his son for a board of directors seat.
Mikael Hed has also been appointed chairman of Rovio Animation Studios, the division at the company responsible for expanding Rovio properties to other entertainment formats, including animated movies, TV shows, and digital series. While a breakout gaming hit, the Angry Birds franchise has grown in the past year via the launch of multiple digital series. A feature film is also in development, though the status of that project isn’t clear.
“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,” Mikael Hed said in a statement. “Pekka is known to be a great leader with experience building successful global consumer brands. I will continue to play an active role and will support Pekka in any way I can to ensure Rovio’s continued success.”