Michael Serbinis, founder and CEO of Kobo, has given up his CEO role and has been succeeded by Takahito “Taka” Aiki. Aiki is moving to Kobo from Rakuten, the Japanese company that bought Kobo in 2012, where he was most recently CEO of Rakuten’s Japanese telecom company, Fusion Communications.
Before joining Rakuten, Aiki had been at the consulting firm Bain & Company and prior to that he spent two years at Tsutaya, Japan’s largest chain of video rental shops and bookstores where he led planning and marketing for Tsutaya Online. “I am excited to be joining Kobo, one of Canada’s most prominent brands and a true innovator in eReading. The Kobo team is extremely talented and, working together, I look forward to driving Kobo's leadership in eReading,” Aiki said in a statement. Aiki will be based in Canada.
Serbinis, who founded Kobo in 2009, will stay on as vice chairman. Kobo now has more than 18 million users in 190 countries and has an e-book inventory of over 4 million titles. “I welcome Takahito as Kobo’s new CEO, and look forward to achieving Kobo’s future goals together,” Serbinis said.