Episode 8: Humam Sakhnini ’01, President of King Digital Entertainment, with Reeve Harde ’20
Humam Sakhnini ’01 is president of King Digital Entertainment, an interactive entertainment company and the makers of the popular game Candy Crush. Humam is interviewed by Reeve Harde ’20, an MBA student at the Yale School of Management.
Prior to his role as President at King, Humam served as the Chief Strategy & Talent Officer at Activision Blizzard, Inc. from February 1, 2012, to April 6, 2016. Most recently, Mr. Sakhnini served as the Chief Financial Officer at King Digital Entertainment. He was a Partner at McKinsey & Company for eight years, where he provided counsel to executives at the world's leading media and technology companies. Humam holds a B.A. degree in Economics from the University of Western Ontario, an M.A. in Economics from Queen's University at Kingston, and an M.B.A. from Yale University School of Management.
Reeve Harde ’20 is a second-year student in Yale SOM's full-time MBA program. Prior to SOM, Reeve was M&A Advisory manager at Deloitte conducting buy-side due diligence for private equity clients. Reeve began his career in Deloitte's audit practice, primarily serving tech & media clients in Los Angeles before transferring to M&A. Reeve studied accounting and finance at Villanova University and is a licensed CPA in California and New York.
Humam Sakhnini: (16:21) “I meet a lot of folks who come in and I think they're always thoughtful about when is the right time to come into the industry or make a move. And I think kind of, especially if you're an MBA or if you're someone who's switching from let's say from banking or consulting and trying to make that move, I think you spend so much time thinking what's the right timing in your career? And kind of my advice is if you know you want to be in the industry, the best timing is the earliest timing.”
Humam Sakhnini: (10:47) “I think about our company as four or five companies in one. We're a creative-led company. We have to make incredibly inspired creative product. And in a way you can dictate that creativity comes from the right folks working on things that are truly astounding, and you can't preconceive them in a business sense. I think about us as a technology company, our ability to really think about technology in a very different way, and sort of technology at scale. I think about us as a marketing company to be able to kind of be in front of consumers and be relevant in front of hundreds of millions of people. And I really think about us as a data company.”
Humam Sakhnini: (14:24) “King always thinks about itself as priding itself in having bite-size moments of brilliance. And what we mean by that is that we just want to bring a smile to your face in very small increments of time, because we know that people are busy on their devices and so we don't have an expectation that you're going to spend an hour with us playing Candy Crush, but whatever five minutes you have, you're going to check in, we want to put a smile on your face.”
About Career Conversations
In this podcast series, SOM students sit down with alumni for a series of candid conversations about career paths, industries, opportunities for MBAs, and discussions on various career topics including work-life balance and creating a meaningful impact in business and society. This series is produced by and recorded at the Yale School of Management.