Ina Fried

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Top Angry Birds Exec Flies the Coop

Ville Heijari, who has spent the past three years leading brand marketing for Rovio, has traded in his Angry Birds sweatshirt for something of the more button-down variety.

Heijari, who had been a senior VP for Rovio, is remaining in Finland to lead European operations for PlayHaven, a San Francisco-based company that helps mobile games earn money through in-app ads for other games. The company offers game makers the opportunity to promote their titles on a pay-per-install basis, and is in about 4,000 iOS and Android games used by 115 million people each month.

“From my experience at Rovio, I see the importance in this industry of cross-promotion,” said Heijari, who left Rovio last week and started in the new role earlier this week. “PlayHaven is in exactly the right position.”

In January, PlayHaven hired former AdMob exec Charles Yim to be its chief operating officer. Heijari said he was introduced to PlayHaven by Yim, and has been watching the company closely over the last year.

Heijari, who said in an interview last year that he had yet to tire of Angry Birds, said Thursday that it was great helping build such a massive consumer brand, but he was attracted by PlayHaven’s business and culture.

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