Redundancies hit half of Rovio’s licensing team

A total of 16 roles have been lost, including that of Head of Brand Licensing Simo Hämäläinen, as licensing moves under remit of CMO Ville Heijari

Written by Rhys Thomas

Posted 04.12.2019 | Entertainment

Redundancies hit half of Rovio’s licensing team thumbnail

Half of the Rovio licensing team will lose their job in a wave of redundancies aimed at improving efficiencies and profitability in the division.

In total, 16 positions be axed from the global licensing team, including Simo Hämäläinen, Head of Brand Licensing, who is leaving the company at the end of January 2020.

“We regret to announce that Simo Hämäläinen has decided to leave Rovio,” says Kati Levoranta, Rovio’s CEO.

“In the past seven years, Simo has been an integral part of Rovio’s brand licensing business. In his latest role, heading the brand licensing efforts from consumer products to content and movies, he also led Rovio through The Angry Birds Movie 2 programme.

“Simo has been part of Rovio’s Leadership Team since 2017. We warmly thank Simo for all his efforts towards Rovio and the Angry Birds brand.''

Following the departures, the licensing business will merge with Rovio’s marketing division under the leadership of Chief Marketing Officer Ville Heijari. That move will take effect from January 2020.

The Angry Birds maker first announced it would enter downsizing talks with staff in mid-October, following BLE. At the time it said as many as 20 roles could disappear.

Rovio posted a healthy 4.3 per cent year-on-year revenue growth to €217.5m for the third quarter, but its licensing business did not meet expectations. Licensing revenue reached €8.4 million for the period, a 6.2 per cent improvement on the €7.9m it made in the same period of 2018, but the growth was not big enough given the boost it should have received from the release of The Angry Birds Movie 2.

Kati pointed to a “very competitive landscape” and a “softer” box office than it had anticipated. The knock-on effect was weaker than expected performance in licensing activity tied to the movie.

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