Finnish games maker Rovio has put former EA and Digital Chocolate executive Jami Laes in charge of its game division after announcing him as its new EVP of Games. Laes has replaced the outgoing Petri Järvilehto, although his LinkedIn and Twitter profiles show that he actually joined back in March.
Laes, who has nearly 15 years of TV and games industry experience, most recently spent an 18-month stint with Playfish where, as VP of Global Studios, he managed the company’s global studios in London, Beijing, Tromso, San Francisco and Montreal. His previous employers also include Digital Chocolate, where he rose to the position of VP, Global Studios and GM, Helsinki, during a six-year period of work.
His new position with the Angry Birds-maker will tap into his international experience, and particularly his work in Asia, since he is charged with leading growth in global markets.
“Thinking back, this was a natural next step in my career. 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,” said Laes said, adding that that he believes Rovio’s franchises have considerable development within them.
“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.”
Rovio CEO Mikael Hed hailed Laes’ experience as ideal to “take us to the next level”, while a statement from Järvilehto expressed his “full confidence” in his replacement.
Last month, Rovio reported its 2012 annual results with $71 million in net profit as revenues jumped 101 percent year-on-year to hit $195 million. Its main revenue sources remain paid games, virtual goods and advertising, but merchandising is growing and could account for the bulk of future revenue.
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