GamesBeat

Angry Birds maker Rovio hires new exec to lead game development

Angry Birds Space

Rovio Entertainment, whose Angry Birds games have been download more than billion times, has appointed Jami Laes as its new executive vice president of games.

That’s a critical job for the Espoo, Finland-based company because Rovio needs to find more hits to support the momentum that Angry Birds has given the company over the last three years.

Jami Laes, Rovio's evp of games

Above: Jami Laes is Rovio’s new executive vice president of games. He worked previously for EA and Digital Chocolate.

Image Credit: Rovio

Laes will run the game division, while others will handle toys, movies and other merchandise. Previously, Laes worked at Electronic Arts and Digital Chocolate.

For the past six years, Laes has built global studios that deliver high-end social and mobile games. He has experience working with studios in China and Japan.

“Thinking back, this was a natural next step in my career,” Laes said in a statement. “I have always been a huge fan of Angry Birds, and it has been great to see the phenomenal success that Rovio has already achieved.

“Even so, we’ve only seen a fraction of what can be achieved with great brands like Angry Birds and Bad Piggies, and I wanted to be a part of building that story.”

Petri Järvilehto, who previously ran games, has decided to move on in his career.

“With their excellent past track records, I have full confidence in our games management and studio heads to work together with Jami to do amazing work also in the future,” said Järvilehto in a statement. “This is a good time to hand over the reins.”

Rovio claims that it doubled its revenue last year. It reported revenues of nearly $195 million on the strength of its games and consumer products. That’s up 101 percent from $97 million in 2011. Earnings before interest and taxes are up 50 percent from $60.2 million in 2011 to $98.5 million in 2012.

But in recent months, Rovio’s games have sunk in the app stores sales charts.


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