Big moves at the top of Netflix-owned Next Games today: Saara Bergström is now studio director while CEO Teemu Huuhtanen is leaving to “explore new ventures.” The handover will be complete before the summer, Bergström said.
Bergström steps up to her new role having been part of the Next Games leadership team since 2014. She joined the firm nine years ago as its first marketing and PR staffer, and was promoted to COO in September 2022. Prior to her time at Next Bergström was marketing and communications VP at Rovio, and digital marketing manager at Nokia.
Huuhtanen steps down after almost a decade with the company. He is also an ex-Rovio exec, having served as VP for mergers and acquisitions for just over a year. Prior to that he had also held several senior roles at Habbo maker Sulake.
“Today Teemu and I are sharing that as he steps down as studio lead to explore new ventures, I’ll be taking over the role starting today,” said Bergström on LinkedIn.
“Having become a part of Netflix almost a year ago, we have a unique and rare opportunity to focus even more relentlessly on what we have always believed in: an unwavering focus on fans and fearless creativity. We could not be set up any better. We have a fantastic leadership team in place and a studio filled with stunning colleagues.”
“I am truly thankful for Teemu for his leadership along Next Games’ journey from a startup to Finland’s first publicly listed mobile game company, to eventually being acquired by Netflix. Throughout, his personal support for me and the leadership team has always been steadfast.”
“Teemu, myself and the rest of the Next Games leadership team will be working closely through the handover, which will be completed before the summer.”
Also on LinkedIn, Teemu Huuhtanen added: “After a decade of leading Next Games, I’ve decided to step down as the studio head to explore new ventures. Saara Bergstrom, who has been a part of our leadership team alongside me since 2014, will be taking my place to lead the studio starting today. Having worked with Saara for more than 10 years, I know she’s an amazing, highly-respected colleague and I’m proud to see her continue leading Next Games.”
“I want to thank Netflix and Next Games leadership for the time for the handover which will continue until summer,” he continued. “The time for kudos, praises and thank you’s for all the amazing colleagues and people I had a chance to work with will come in June when I head for new adventures.”
Netflix also recently announced that Monument Valley 1+2 are coming to the service in in 2024, with “more to come” from that series soon. It has also signed Super Evil Megacorp to co-create a major new ‘transmedia’ IP and is currently working with partners on 70 games, 40 of which launch this year.