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CEO who led Paradox to Cities: Skylines and Stellaris resigns

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CEO and founder of Paradox Interactive, Fredrik Wester, has resigned after 15 years, explaining the move is “what suits Paradox best.”


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Wester announced his resignation as CEO in a post on the official Paradox Interactive forum and explained he is moving into the role of executive chairman of the board at Paradox.

“They say War Never Changes, but that doesn’t mean those of us who make games about war don’t change over time,” Wester said.

“This August I’ll be stepping out of the role of CEO at Paradox Interactive and will be taking up a post as Executive Chairman of the Board. We´re making this change as we believe it is what suits Paradox best. This will be my full-time job; I will continue to work out of the office and hopefully have more time to interact with with all my colleagues and with you. This change will put me in a position where I can focus on the things I love, helping Paradox grow and expand, while handing over responsibility for ongoing operations to a person better suited for the job.

“Paradox is no longer a team hand-packing game discs into envelopes out of a warehouse in the middle of nowhere (true story). Today we’re managing a player base of millions, several amazing development partners, and over 300 talented, hardworking and dedicated employees. It’s kind of the perfect Paradox story – the tiny little blob on the map that grows into a mighty empire.”

Wester founded the Paradox Interactive we know today back in 2003, becoming CEO in 2009. During these 15 years he helped grow the publisher from a seven person studio in Stockholm to an international publisher, creating successful titles such as city building sim Cities: Skylines and space exploration Stellaris.

“Usually when CEOs recount their journeys like this, the next step in the story is that they’re moving on, so let me be clear that this is not the case,” Wester explained. “There isn’t a warscore measurable in human numbers that could get me to concede surrender – and there’s so much left I want to do with this company. So, no, I am not stepping down from Paradox. Instead, I am stepping into a role where I can do more of what I do best.

“If you ask people internally what I do best, they will probably say something like ‘creating chaos.’ I like to think of it as experimenting, trying new things and creating more opportunities for Paradox to impact the world of games. I want to focus more on finding the next big project for us to tackle, and figuring out more ways for us to grow and expand. I’ve realized there just aren’t enough hours in my day to do that and concentrate on daily operations. While we have the best teams in the world in place, I believe Paradox deserves more support from their CEO in this area.”

Wester is to be replaced by current Paradox board member Ebba Ljungerud, with the former CEO declaring, “her ability to manage a growth company the size of Paradox is a safe bet.”

However, Wester also wanted to assure fans that his resignation will not affect Paradox’s output in any way, and the publisher will continue to create the games they always have.

“It’s important to note that this does not change what we do at Paradox,” Wester reassured fans. “We remain focused on creating the kind of games we do best and are known for. This is about making sure we have the organisation in place to handle the growth we´re currently experiencing, and making sure our trajectory continues upwards.”