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Michael Serbinis out as Kobo CEO

Former Kobo CEO Michael Serbinis

Michael Serbinis has been at the helm of Kobo since the company’s earliest days, overseeing its development as Indigo’s digital content division (known at the time as Shortcovers), helping rebrand the firm as a global ebook retailer when it was established as a separate corporation, and arranging for its sale to Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten.

Now, according to a report in the Financial Post, Serbinis is stepping down as Kobo’s chief executive officer. He will be replaced by Rakuten executive Takahito “Taka” Aiki, who plans to relocate to Toronto. Serbinis, meanwhile, will remain with Kobo as the company’s founder and vice chairman.

According to the Post, Aiki said in a statement that he is “excited to be joining Kobo, one of Canada’s most prominent brands and a true innovator in eReading.”

He added: “The Kobo team is extremely talented and, working together, I look forward to driving Kobo’s leadership in eReading.”

Rakuten officials offered the following statement:

“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.”