Starbreeze quietly switched CEOs

Starbreeze quietly switched CEOs

By Rob Crossley

November 16th 2011 at 3:52PM

Kristiansson left the firm in February

Swedish studio Starbreeze quietly replaced its former CEO Johan Kristiansson without direct notice to the public, it has emerged.

The publicly listed developer only refers to Kristiansson’s contract termination in a footnote in a single investor report.

On February 25th this year, Mikael Nermark was appointed as new CEO following a spell as vice president of the company since November 2009. Nermark had previously worked at now-defunct studio Grin before joining Starbreeze.

Financial reports seen by Develop show that, upon his appointment, Nermark met with the studio’s board to discuss “efforts to revise Starbreeze's strategic direction in three to five years”.

“The gaming industry is in an interesting and tumultuous phase with large changes in both [publishing, development and distribution], with more focus on including downloadable games. We must of course adapt to changing market conditions,” he said at the time.

Kristiansson (pictured) had ben working at the company for seven years, since February 2004, before departing from the company.

The reasons for his departure are not clear.

Days before he left the company, his quotes were attributed to a press release concerning an Unreal Engine 3 licence agreement.

One month prior to this, it was revealed that Canadian outfit Digital Extremes had scored the development contract for the next Riddick game. Starbreeze had developed the prior two, but went on to invest its resources in two EA projects – one of which was cancelled in 2010.

The other is Syndicate, due for release next year.

Kristiansson is now a marketing director at Scandinavian Airlines.