The maker of the Angry Birds mobile video game is dumping its CEO as the company struggles with increased competition and difficulties in changing its business model.
Rovio Entertainment, the Finnish video game maker, announced that CEO Mikael Hed will "pass the hoodie" in January to former Nokia ( executive Pekka Rantala, a reference to the typical clothing worn in the company's offices. )
The company is shifting its business from a pay-to-play, in which players buy the video game, to a free-to-play model. It now gets about half its revenue from licensing Angry Birds images for toys, clothing and other novelty items. But while revenue has held up, profit in 2013 fell by more than 50%.
Rovio has had trouble with its plans to charge users for purchases made in the games. Competitors such as King Digital Entertainment (, maker of the Candy Crunch game, have been far more successful with that business model. But King has struggled as well, )disappointing investors when it reported its first quarterly results since its March IPO.
Rovio has also increased spending on animation and video distribution as it prepares for the debut of the first Angry Birds movie in 2016. Hed will remain with the company, joining its board and assuming the title as chairman of Rovio Animation.