October 2, 2014 Last Updated 8:33 am

It happens to the best of ’em: Rovio, maker of Angry Birds, announces layoffs


Finnish developer of popular app games will layoff 130 people in major cost cutting move

No one, other than Wall Street**, loves layoffs. So it is good to be reminded every once in a while that layoffs occur in other places other than just at media companies.

Today the Finnish software company, Rovio, the maker of the incredibly popular app game Angry Birds, announced that it would suffer a round of layoffs – 130 positions, representing about 16 percent of the workforce.

“We are an entrepreneurial company and have been exploring multiple areas. We have been building our team on assumptions of faster growth than have materialized,” company CEO Mikael Hed said. “As a result, we announced today that we plan to simplify our organization around our three key businesses with the highest growth potential: games, media, and consumer products. Unfortunately, we also need to consider possible employee reductions of a maximum of 130 people in Finland (approximately 16% of workforce).”

If there was anything refreshing about the announcement, it was simply that the company did not say the layoffs were part of their new digital initiative.

But more seriously, the news is a reminder that in the new world of app publishing, nothing is forever – whether it is the programming of a media app, the popularity of games, everything changes, fast. Publishers used to the daily, weekly, or monthly deadlines of their publications, who can only think ahead one or two issues, should realize that grabbing and keeping the attention of their readers requires constant work, and constant change. Sometimes, unfortunately, that change requires making staff reductions (as well as hires) and does not mean that the basic strategy of constant innovation, experimentation and launches is wrong. It is simply part of the game.

** Refers to the fact that the NYT announced layoffs to its newsroom yesterday, and despite the stock market falling hard, shares of the NYT jumped higher.

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