Finnish studio Sulake has announced that CEO Timo Soininen will be stepping down to take a position on the board of directors, with Disney Playdom exec Paul LaFontaine taking over the chief executive position.
The move, effective September 15, ends Soininen's ten-year stint at the head of Sulake, which saw the company's teen-focused virtual community and social game Habbo
grow to include over 200 million registered avatars
and over 11 million users every month.
"Over the last decade, [Soininen] has been instrumental in evolving Habbo Hotel
and Sulake from a small, local start-up to a thriving global social gaming company targeting teens,” Sulake chairman Mika Salmi said in a statement.
LaFontaine, who will replacing Soininen at the CEO position, was previously responsible for global distribution and promotions at major social game maker Playdom. He has also held executive positions at TicketMaster and green energy company eSolar.
"After 10 years of successful growth, Sulake is now well known for providing a popular, safe, social entertainment destination for teens," LaFontaine said in a statement. "I am extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to continue this work with such a talented and creative group of people."
In March, Sulake reported revenues for the 2010 fiscal year were up 20 percent
, to €56.2 million ($78.7 million). The company is planning to expand Habbo
with new social games, features and mobile apps in the near future.