Habbo Hotel’s CEO Checks Out, Disney Exec Takes His Room

Sulake, the Finnish company which operates the Habbo Hotel teen virtual world, is swapping its CEO.

Timo Soininen, who has led the group for the last 10 years, is stepping down to the board of directors, replaced by Paul LaFontaine, a VP for global distribution at Disney’s social network games maker Playdom.

The company did not give a reason for the switch. But one wonders whether LaFontaine’s experience of distributing Playdom games through off-site networks like Facebook and MySpace portends a syndication intention for Habbo.

The isometric 3D world has 10 million monthly uniques, in-world e-commerce items and positions itself as a place where brands can reach audiences.

Sulake says 2010 net profit was €1.6 ($2.27/£1.41) million; a 2009 figure wasn’t disclosed but the firm said it was a “record” year. Revenue in 2010 rose by a fifth to €56.2 ($79.84/£49.66) million.

Soininen had credited the growth to virtual pets, virtual item trading, Habbo Cllub and games.