Rovio revives effort to push Angry Birds beyond the game

The company hires a DreamWorks Animation exec to spearhead the franchise's expansion, as Rovio seeks to keep milking the birds.

Rovio has hired a new executive to bolster its franchise. Rovio

Angry Birds creator Rovio has plucked a sales executive from DreamWorks Animation in a renewed push to spread the game's wings as a franchise.

Tuomo Korpinen started August 1 as president of both Rovio's animation arm and its Blue Bird Distribution subsidiary, both of which are geared toward expanding the company's efforts in multiple forms of media. Reporting directly to Rovio CEO Pekka Rantala, Korpinen also has the title of global executive vice president of media business, with responsibility for all media-related activities and properties.

The challenge for Korpinen will be to craft a long-term plan to expand Rovio's presence in media and entertainment by boosting its own media lineup and partnering with other companies.

Finland-based Rovio has been a one-trick pony, dependent almost exclusively on its Angry Birds games. To capitalize on its flagship title, Rovio has expanded into other areas, including an Angry Birds animated series, toys, theme park rides and a full-length feature film slated for 2016. But the non-game business isn't pulling its weight. Rovio's 2014 earnings and revenue dropped significantly from 2013, a downturn pegged on a huge sales drop in its "consumer products" segment. In December, Rovio announced job cuts.

Before joining Rovio, Korpinen worked for DreamWorks Animation where he was the head of international TV sales. Prior to that, he worked for Walt Disney in a variety of roles, including a stint as vice president of global business development.