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Ex-Focus chief Juergen Goeldner named interim CEO of Starbreeze

Starbreeze is undergoing a change of leadership, with CEO Tobias Sjögren stepping down and board member Juergen Goeldner named as his interim replacement.

The Payday developer announced today that Goeldner has taken leadership of the company with immediate effect, and the search for a new permanent CEO has begun.

Goeldner joined Starbreeze as a board member last year and has been working in the games industry for over 40 years. His most recent executive position was at Focus Home Interactive (now Focus Entertainment), where he served as CEO from 2018 to 2020. He has previously held executive roles at Square Enix, Eidos, and THQ Germany.

Goeldner will be working with Sjögren to ensure a smooth transition.

Meanwhile, Sjögren joined Starbreeze as a member of the board in 2019, taking over as interim CEO in 2020 after Mikael Nermark resigned for personal reasons. It was later revealed Nermark was battling cancer, from which he died in 2021.

Starbreeze announced that Sjögren would be permanent CEO in March 2021. He has since overseen the company’s turnaround after a brush with insolvency in 2018, culminating in its first profitable year thanks to the launch of Payday 3 in September 2023.

The only indication as to why Sjögren is stepping down is a comment from chairman of the board Torgny Hellström, who cites a change in company strategy. has reached out to Starbreeze for more information.

Starbreeze’s chairman of the board Torgny Hellström said: “The company has a clear strategy centered around creating attractive games on our own and licensed IPs. The board’s consolidated assessment is that the execution of strategy needs a different leadership. Juergen Goeldner has been part of the board since 2023 and, with over 40 years of industry experience, is a strong interim solution.

“On behalf of the board of directors, I would like to thank Tobias Sjögren for his achievements during the past three years. Tobias took over the helm of Starbreeze in a challenging phase of its journey and we wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Goeldner added: “Starbreeze has a strong history of developing and publishing games globally. After launching Payday 3, the company is well-positioned to leverage the strengths of the organization to monetize and develop the IP portfolio. I am looking forward to assuming an operative position and, together with the management, ensure the execution of this strategy.”

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