King, the leading interactive entertainment mobile gaming company and a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, announced leadership changes.
Tjodolf Sommestad will take the President role over from Humam Sakhnini. Sakhnini is stepping down after six years at King and 12 years at Activision Blizzard. In addition, Sebastian Knutsson, one of the company’s co-founders, is stepping down from his current role as Chief Creative Officer.
Sommestad will be the president of King, with Sakhnini advising him on the transition until the end of March.
“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 games 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.”Daniel Alegre, President and Chief Operating Officer of Activision Blizzard.
Sommestad has been a part of King for more than a decade. His most recent title was Chief Development Officer. About his new role in the company, he said the following:
“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. 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.”
Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, said the following about the changes in the leadership team:
“I want to thank Humam Sakhnini and Sebastian Knutsson. I have greatly valued my partnership over these twelve years with Humam. He was instrumental in 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 worldwide. He is a pioneer and visionary, and we are grateful for the passion and creativity he inspired within King. Both Humam and Sebastian have worked tirelessly to build a great culture at King and prepare the business for this exciting next level.”
“I am incredibly proud of what King has achieved. We delivered record results and delighted our players worldwide thanks to our talented teams’ commitment, great work, and passion. I’m excited about King’s next chapter under Tjodolf’s leadership. He is a tremendously talented leader who will continue to drive innovation in our franchises.”
Co-founder Sebastian Knutsson said:
“From our humble start-up 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.”
King’s 2021 Q4 financial results demonstrated over $1 billion annual operating income last year. In-game net bookings in 2021 were increased 14% year-over-year to a new record. Numbers were driven by Candy Crush, King’s largest franchise.