Conflict at the top of Paradox Interactive

Due to differing views on the company’s strategy going forward, Paradox Interactive AB’s (publ) CEO Ebba Ljungerud has decided to leave the CEO position with immediate effect. The Board of Paradox Interactive has appointed Fredrik Wester as CEO with immediate effect. Ebba Ljungerud will stay for a period to ensure a good handover. In connection with Fredrik Wester’s appointment as CEO, he has resigned as Chairman of the Board with immediate effect. The Board has decided to appoint Håkan Sjunnesson, currently Deputy Chairman of the Board, as Chairman of the Board.

So is the gist here they weren’t putting out a ridiculous amount of DLC every month? I’d like to know what the “differing views” were.

You mean, “the end of a conflict”.
We’ll never know. Seeing her background, I’m guessing heavy monetization and chasing a golden AAA goose and/or mobile gatcha that would be pretty unlikely. Others say failed launches, failed third-party deals, and delayed products - but that isn’t really much of a “differing view” on what came before, and partially attributable to unusual times. Oh, or wanting to fire Johan, which isn’t even worth a comment.
But it’s pure speculation.

Differing views on strategy could also just be the face-saving way to say the board wanted to can her for bad performance, or any old reason, really.

My preferred exit messaging is “loved working here, great team and work culture, headed out to spend more time with friends and family”

I am Jack’s complete lack of surprise.

Why? …

Paradox as it exists today and Fredrik are one and the same. He never really left, and Ebba never really took his place. Perhaps she tried? I don’t know.

Paradox as we know it was built by Fredrik. In many ways he (and the crew he assembled there) is Paradox. That’s not gonna change easily or at all.

It was obviously a mistake to let Troy Goodfellow and Rod Humble play their internal games of power in the company!

Weird. Why make her CEO then?

Now we’re getting to the interesting questions. ;)

I wish I knew.

Seen the same sort of dynamics at another company. Founder wants to step back but after doing so finds out they can’t actually let go of the control. In Wester’s case he still is on the board and seemingly very active in the company, so it could just very well be those two didn’t get along and she felt like she couldn’t make decisions without being undermined.

Could certainly be wrong, but the stated reason given screams that it was something like the above.

Yeah, this is a story as old as time for small and medium growing businesses. Founders can’t let go even after ‘embracing’ a growth strategy that brings in specialist resources to take over mangement.

Wester was still going to be setting direction and overall strategy so if the board and CEO weren’t on the same page that’s going to be untenable.

I know they “paused” (likely stopped) development of Imperator and released Leviathan in truly WTF shape and both have the fanbase feeling burned. Combined with the rare poor quarter Paradox has had, it feels like that would be ground for disagreement on those decisions as well as what to be done moving forward. We’ll probably never know, but I wish I could have been a fly on the wall for a few of those meetings.

from the thread title, I thought of news about a new paradox IP, Conflict At The Top … didn’t sounded much like a good game title and I was right!

Oooh, what would that game be? Kinda like Bum Fights but for the 1%? Jeff Bezos / Elon Musk deathmatch? Pre-ordered!

Haha that’s hilarious!

Don’t know Swedish, but a Google Translate pass on this one…

EDIT: Kotaku coverage:

Disappointing but not surprising.

Also, mentioned on Kotaku, Paradox’ response:

Obviously the results of this survey are deeply concerning. The management team wants to ensure this data is acted upon, but taking immediate, direct action is legally difficult thanks to the informal nature of the survey (which is not to say it’s being dismissed out-of-hand by any means).

“Legally difficult” sounds like an excuse.

As stated to Breakit , we decided last week to have an independent company run an audit of our processes to report and handle cases of discrimination and harassment. We’ll also have them run a comprehensive survey to provide us with clearly defined and actionable data that we can use to make impactful change.

Let’s see how “independent” that company will be. With an alleged “culture of silence”, the survey would never be anywhere close to real if there’s any expectation of retaliation by Paradox, so the company they hire must have a really solid reputation in terms of protecting the people being surveyed.

Also, “clearly defined and actionable data that we can use to make impactful change” sounds like bizspeak.

At this point we’re in the process of hiring an independent and neutral firm that specializes in this process; beyond that I don’t have further detail I can offer right now. I appreciate you reaching out.

Let’s see how long this takes…

I knew it all along, this is why I’ve been boycotting the company for the past 5 years. Not because of their random and utterly lost patching process that destroys original designs!