Activision Blizzard subsidiary King Digital Entertainment, the leading interactive entertainment company for the mobile gaming world, is embracing leadership changes.
After six years at King, Humam Sakhnini stepped down as president, and Tjodolf Sommestad was promoted to the role. Sebastian Knutsson, one of the co-founders of King, also stepped down from his role as the chief creative officer.
Bobby Kotick, the CEO of Activision Blizzard, said, “I want to thank Humam Sakhnini and Sebastian Knutsson. I have greatly valued my partnership over these 12 years with Humam.
He was instrumental in both the acquisition of Blizzard and King, and our company has been fortunate for his contributions.
And Sebastian helped create an entire industry bringing gaming to hundreds of millions of new players around the world. He is a pioneer and visionary, and we are grateful for the passion and creativity he inspired within King.”
In addition to his tenure at King, Sakhnini has been working at Activision Blizzard for 12 years. According to Bobby Kotick’s company, Sakhnini is leaving King to focus on his family, which is based in the United States.
“I am incredibly proud of what King has achieved. We delivered record results and delighted our players around the world thanks to the commitment, great work, and passion of our talented teams,” said Sakhnini.
He expressed his complete confidence in King’s future with Sommestad in charge. “He is a tremendously talented leader who will continue to drive innovation in our franchises,” said Sakhnini.
According to the company, Knutsson is leaving to focus more on charitable work.
He said, “From our humble startup beginnings 19 years ago to today, I have been proud of the fun we’ve delivered players through a focus on creativity and innovation.
It has truly been a tremendous journey, and I look forward to seeing what is next for King. I will continue to cheer on King from the sidelines.
” Kotick said, “Both Humam and Sebastian have worked tirelessly to build a great culture at King and prepare the business for this exciting next level.”
King’s History of Great Games
Activision Blizzard acquired King in February 2016 for $5.9 billion. “When we looked at King, we saw great franchises with lots of potentials, one super franchise, and a fantastic pipeline.
That got us really excited,” Activision CEO Bobby Kotick said of the merger. “Now, with the introduction of high-quality mobile devices, we’re looking at everybody being a consumer.
And one of the things I love about King is that 60% of its consumer base is female. So there are more opportunities now than we’ve ever had before.”
King has game studios in San Francisco; Los Angeles; New York; Chicago; Malta; Stockholm; Malmö, Sweden; London; Barcelona, Spain; and Berlin.
King has 240 million monthly active users worldwide on the web and social and mobile platforms.
The company has developed 200-plus exclusive games, which are available on multiple platforms, including Facebook, the Apple App Store, Amazon Appstore, Microsoft Windows App Store, and Google Play Store. In addition to Candy Crush, King’s most popular games include Farm Heroes, Pet Rescue, and Bubble Witch.
Leadership Changes at Bobby Kotick’s Activision Blizzard Subsidiary
Sommestad has been with King for over a decade. He guided King’s Games Studios and technology teams as the chief development officer and has been the senior vice president of the Candy Crush Saga franchise.
“I’m delighted to be taking over as the new president of King — a business I’ve been proud to be part of for more than a decade,” said Sommestad.
“After breaking revenue records in 2021, we expect to build on this momentum through a continued focus on building playful player experiences across our live franchises, so we can continue to delight our players and make the world more playful.
Thanks to Humam’s leadership and the fantastic work and dedication of our teams, the business is in a position of financial and creative strength, setting the stage for King’s next level of growth.”
Daniel Alegre, Activision Blizzard’s president and chief operating officer, echoed his sentiments, stating, “Tjodolf is an exceptional leader who has played a central role in driving the continued growth and development of our mobile games’ franchises.
He brings a wealth of experience in innovation, technology, and game development. Working alongside an expanded leadership team, I am confident King will be able to sustain its growth while serving its player community with the enduring delight of its games.”
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