Michael Serbinis has been CEO of Kobo for the last four years and has assembled one of the best executive teams in the eBook and e-reader industry. Under his watch the company expanded their library to have over 4 million eBooks in 190 different countries. Kobo has developed apps for almost every major operating system in the world and has even launched for Blackberry. When Kobo was sold to Japanese e-Commerce giant Rakuten, the writing was on the wall that there would eventually be a management shakeup. Today, Michael Serbinis has stepped down as the CEO of Kobo and has been supplanted by Takahito “Taka” Aiki.
Taka brings to the role a wealth of experience in building and growing successful projects and companies, and has built his career on achieving ambitious goals and forging strong teams. Most recently, as CEO of Japanese telecom company Fusion Communications, he introduced innovative new services that delivered sustainable growth and profitability. Under Taka’s leadership, Fusion became a reliable profit centre for parent company, Rakuten, Inc. He is also an accomplished former Manager at Bain & Company and 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. Taka and his family will reside in Canada and will lead Kobo from its head office located in Toronto, Ontario.
“I am thrilled to accept the role of CEO at Kobo,” said incoming CEO Takahito Aiki. “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.”
Michael is not leaving Kobo, but he will remain the Vice Chairman and will not have a seat the board. He might not be the alpha dog anymore, but will continue to be one of the highest ranking executives with Kobo.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.