Paul LaFontaine, also known by his nickname "Paul LaFo" by many players, and also by his habbo hotel username, paulwalla, was the former CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Habbo Hotel, a product of Sulake, Inc. On Wednesday September 7, 2011, Timo Soininen stepped down as CEO of Habbo Hotel, joining the board of directors. The Sulake board then named Paul LaFontaine as the new Habbo Hotel CEO. Paul came from Disney where he was the vice president for Global Distribution at Disney's Playdom.
The previous CEO, Timo Soininen, served for 10 years in which he helped to build Habbo into a leading social platform for teenagers.
This is a portion of the statement released the regarding the position change.
|“||Over the last decade, Time has been instrumental in evolving Habbo Hotel and Sulake from a small, local start-up to a thriving global social gaming company targeting teens," said Mika Salmi, chairman, Sulake. "His leadership and vision have been essential to Habbo Hotel's success. Timo has inspired and developed Sulake's brilliant international team. We are pleased that in his new role on the board of directors, he will continue to contribute to Habbo's success in the teen social market.||”|
— Merja Turpeinen (Communications Manager)
Paul LaFontaine departed as CEO of Habbo only one year after he came into the position. Although he is leaving as CEO, Paul stated that he will remain in the company. This is his official statement as he posted on Habbo's blog Behind The Pixels.
|“|| After 15 months of leading the Habbo community it is time for me to hand my Staff badge to new leadership. My time as Paulwalla has been amazing, working with a group of industry veterans to support one of the most vibrant and energetic communities on the internet. We have had our ups and our downs together, and through it all Habbos have stood strong in being proud of their community and making it about friendship and fun. I’ve learned much and truly enjoyed engaging with the community. Whether our work to improve the community was popular, or controversial throughout we have heard clearly that Habbos understand their community and know what they want. The interaction has been important. The voice of the community is the strength of the community. Proof of this was clear in the summer. The community weathered a tremendous storm together, and Habbos stood strong. The way you reacted with one strong voice was inspiring. You will be left in good hands. Our new Community Team will lead Staff in the Hotel to serve you. Engagement will increase, and the spirit of Old Habbo will rise again.
All the best,
— Paul LaFontaine