Ebook company Kobo replaces its CEO with exec from Japanese parent company Rakuten

For all of us self-published authors:


Canadian ebook company Kobo, which was acquired by Japanese retail giant Rakuten in 2011, is replacing its founder and CEO Michael Serbinis with a Japanese executive, the company announced Tuesday. Takahito “Taka” Aiki, who was the CEO of Rakuten’s telecom company Fusion Communications, steps into the new role effective immediately, while Serbinis remains involved with the company as vice chairman.

According to Kobo’s announcement, Aiki “was responsible for the online business of Japan’s top bookstore and video rental company Tsutaya, where he helped grow its online membership by 250% in only two years” — though his LinkedIn(s IN) profile says that was from 2002 to 2004, long before the rise of ebooks. “The Kobo team is extremely talented and, working together, I look forward to driving Kobo’s leadership in e-reading,” Aiki said in a statement.

Serbinis said, “I welcome Takahito as Kobo’s new CEO, and look forward to achieving Kobo’s future…

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