Michael Acton Smith becomes the Jony Ive of Mind Candy as he steps down as CEO
The chief executive officer of British developer firm Mind Candy has announced through a YouTube video that he is resigning from his post - but only to tackle a more creative role at the privately-held company.
Michael Acton Smith, called Mr. Moshi by fans, founded Mind Candy 10 years ago. The company's first major title was Perplex City, a mixture of stories, games, and puzzles, though it is also known for a kid-friendly social network called Moshi Monsters that has a 80 million registered users worldwide.
Smith published a YouTube video on Friday to announce he will remain CEO at Mind Candy until a replacement is found. He said the company is looking at external candidates for the job and that he would eventually move to a yet-untitled role managing the creative side of things.
Although Smith admitted companies generally publish press releases to announce such news, he wanted to address the rumours "face to face" through a video. In the nearly four-minute-long clip, he sat on a couch in front of a colourful wall full of Moshi characters, with several notebooks piled next to him.
“I'm self-aware enough to know that I am much better on the creative side of business than the operations side,” he said in the video. “That probably doesn't come to much of a surprise to anyone that has worked with me. I think maybe it's time I move to a more creative role."
"I've been doing a lot of discussions with the board and various folks at Mind Candy, and I'm excited with this change," he added before referring to the notebooks at his side that were “filled with ideas and sketches and scribbles and doodles” for new characters and stories.
Smith spoke directly to the camera and described the shake up as an opportunity for him to evangelise Mind Candy as well as to travel the world, speak at conferences, and start dreaming up new projects.
The Wall Street Journal noted Mind Candy has had trouble finding success in the US and that the company's Moshi Monsters Village, a mobile app that rolled out over the past year, is considered a flop by some.