North CEO Christopher Håkonsson Steps Down; Org Seeking Additional Investment

North CEO Christopher Hakonsson has apparently stepped down, the team confirmed
North CEO Christopher Hakonsson has apparently stepped down, the team confirmed / Photo courtesy of North

North CEO Christopher Håkonsson has left the organization, and Alexander Pedersen has been promoted to interim CEO from his role as chief marketing officer, the organization confirmed to DBLTAP. In a statement, Pedersen also said the organization is seeking additional financial investment.

“What North is looking for, is the next natural step for an organization like ours. We want an extra investor to come in and help drive and scale the new initiatives we are planning to execute on in the coming years," Pedersen said in a statement. "There is a massive opportunity in esports and to capitalize on it we need more know-how.”

Pedersen has taken over for Håkonsson on an interim basis and said the former CEO was on sick leave but would not return to the organization.

Håkonsson took over as CEO for the original North CEO Christian Sørensen in October 2019. This was his first time working in esports, and his departure will mark only one year with the organization. Prior to joining North, he spent time as a consultant with a management firm and a strategy manager for a media production company.

Alexander Pedersen was the North CMO for exactly one year following four months as marketing and brand vice president. He was in charge of their rebrand earlier this year in January, where they changed their logo for the first time in an attempt to make it more aggressive and Viking-like. Prior to jumping in to esports, he spent almost 10 years in the music industry.

North is the esports affiliate of F.C. Copenhagen and Nordisk Film, originally founded in early 2017. Since their introduction to CS:GO, they have won six international tournaments with the most recent being DreamHack Open Sevilla 2019 last December. It is unclear at this time if failure to secure additional investment will have any effect on North's CS:GO operation.

Thus far in 2020, North has had a hard time replicating their success from previous years. After re-adding Mathias "MSL" Lauridsen in January, their best finish in top European tournaments was seventh place in cs_summit 6 Online. Just over a month after the event, they added Jonas "Lekr0" Olofsson in August following his tenure on Ninjas in Pyjamas.

North are ranked 34th in ESL's world ranking, which ESL use as qualification for nine of the additional non-partner teams for ESL Pro League. Without a drastic increase in that ranking, they will not qualify for Season 13 which is set to begin in March of 2021. Season 11 was the last time they participated in the league, where they finished 13th-15th.