Arrowhead hires Shams Jorjani as its new CEO

Arrowhead hires Shams Jorjani as its new CEO

Helldivers maker Arrowhead Games Studio has hired Shams Jorjani as its new chief executive officer. 

As reported by, he replaces the developer's founder Johan Pilestedt in this position after over 15 years. He has now taken the role of chief creative officer. 

Jorjani has worked in games since 2007, when he was hired as a partner manager for the Swedish Game Awards. Two years later, he moved to Paradox as a producer, rising through the ranks over 12 years to hold the position of chief business development officer. In 2021, he left to found consultancy and investment firm Fools Quest, as well as serving as chair of the board for publisher Hooded Horse. 

“I realised that running an organisation of over 100 people to however large it is going to get… it means I will [have to choose] between deepening my love for game creation, or the business track," Pilestedt said.

“Over the last year going to launch of Helldivers 2, I’ve been pulled more towards the business side of things, and not able to focus as much on the creative side. That made me realise I needed to make some decisions, both for the success of the business but also myself.

“After some contemplation and deep anxiety on how things are going to pan out, I finally came to the proper conclusion that I will have to follow my heart. It’s not only right for me, but it’s also right for the organisation. Having a reluctant CEO is not something that will turn out that well, I think.”

Jorjani added: “When you’re talking to creatives like Johan, it’s not like he wants to retire. Helldivers 2 isn’t the highlight of his career. Hopefully it’s the fourth best game he ever makes. So the question is how do we set Johan and the team up to get to that in a more consistent manner, rather than skill plus luck plus happenstance… all the things that led us here.

“What I’ll be bringing to the table is organisation and leadership. What I did at Paradox, where I joined as the 23rd person and then helped grow the company into the behemoth it was… it was about organisation, leadership and business focus. It’s a lot of the, frankly, boring business administration stuff that is a necessary part of running a company, which is hard to do when you’re also juggling the chairman’s hat and the creative director’s hat and also being the one who is in the trenches doing a lot of the designing that Johan has been doing over the years." 

Helldivers 2 launched in February 2024 and has shifted over 12 million copies across PC and PlayStation 5. 

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.