Rovio Entertainment’s former EVP of global consumer products licensing Naz Amarchi-Cuevas is the new CEO of German character voice-messaging app company Zoobe Message Entertainment.
The freemium iOS and Android app Zoobe lets an array of pre-loaded original and third-party 3D-animated characters perform fan-recorded voice messages.
Since its launch in 2013, more than 200 million customized, shareable video messages have been created worldwide through the Berlin-based developer’s product.
As CEO, Amarchi-Cuevas will lead the company’s foundational organization and commercial strategy with the goal of creating new character-based products and services to increase brand loyalty.
Among Zoobe’s existing lineup of kid-friendly branded characters are OmNom from Cut the Rope (ZeptoLab), Mavis from Hotel Transylvania 2 (Sony Pictures), Papa Smurf and Smurfette (The Smurfs), Paddington (StudioCanal) and Slimer from Ghostbusters (Columbia Pictures).
The emerging messaging category is currently led by Whatsapp, Wechat, Snapchat and FB Messenger, which combined have for more than four billion users globally.
Under Amarchi-Cuevas’ watch at Rovio, the Angry Birds franchise generated a total of US$4 billion at retail for the brand and related mashups including Angry Birds Star Wars and Angry Birds Transformers.
Angry Birds, however, took a big financial hit in 2015 as consumer demand fell off amid rapid internal growth, resulting in layoffs and a company re-structure ahead of this month’s Angry Birds Movie launch.