Funcom’s CEO Trond Arne Aas resigned yesterday, one day before the launch of the much anticipated MMO, The Secret World. Arne Aas has not left the company entirely, however, instead transitioning into a new role as director of strategy for the company, as well as holding an advisory position on Funcom’s board. Ole Schreiner, the company’s current chief operating officer, will be replacing him.
The reason for his resignation did not relate to development issues with The Secret World. He only wishes to spend more time with his family and wants the freedom a less time consuming job will give him now that The Secret World and all the events and marketing associated with releasing a new MMO are completed.
Aas had previously weathered a number of financial difficulties to turn Funcom into one of Norway’s most profitable companies, seeing stock rise 227% alone last year. The Secret World has been very successful for Funcom, tallying over 1.3 million beta testers and being primed for launch tomorrow
Analysis: When a CEO of any company resigns so close to the release of a major release from a company, warning lights go off in my head, but that wasn’t the case with this resignation. This is mostly due to how I’ve heard only good things about The Secret World from a number of people who’ve participated in the beta, to the point where I’m probably going to have to check the game out myself despite never being an MMO guy.
Once I found out the reason for his resignation, I’ll admit that I’m slightly surprised that the reason Arne Aas gave isn’t seen more in the industry. It makes complete sense to me that being a CEO of a big company does come with its own share of sacrifices. However, under Arne Aas’s guidance, Funcom has made an exceptional turn around financially, and whether Schreiner can keep the ball rolling for the company remains to be seen. Nevertheless, I wish all the best for Arne Aas and the newfound time he has with his family, and Schreiner in his new role as CEO.