It’s a fairly quiet in the world of personnel moves in the esports and gaming industry this week, but we’ve gathered a few that I consider noteworthy and exciting for you, my dear readers. I’ll be in New York City next week for Sports Business Journal/The Esports Observer’s Esports Rising next week as an observer so if you’re around say hi! I’ll be the first to admit that I am socially awkward and a bit of an introvert, which is why I am a writer and editor, and not a television personality. Anyway here’s this week’s movers and shakers. – James Fudge.
Movers & Shakers
CD Projekt joint-CEO and co-founder Marcin Iwinski announced on Wednesday that he will step down from his current executive role to take on a position as chairman of the Supervisory Committee. The Warsaw, Poland-based game developer and publisher is best known for creating The Witcher series of roleplaying games and most recently as the creator of Cyberpunk 2077. The company also owns online digital games store GOG.com. Iwinski did not go into detail on why he has decided to take on this new role within the company.
Activision Blizzard Executive VP for Corporate Affairs Fran Townsend is changing her role at the company, according to an internal memo attributed to Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick. Townsend, who served as a former homeland security advisor under President George W. Bush, will take on the role of senior counsel to Kotick and the company’s board of directors. Two other executives are making shifts within the company as well: Jen Brewer has been named the new chief ethics and compliance officer and Luci Altman is the company’s new corporate secretary. Townsend is best known for stirring up controversy over her response to accusations of Blizzard fostering a frat house like-atmosphere at the studio—an atmosphere that both current and former employees say was either encouraged or ignored by the executives in charge of the World of Warcraft, StarCraft, and Overwatch maker.
After nearly nine years at Nintendo (most recently serving in the role of senior marketing manager, retail marketing) Jomar Monzon has announced his exit from the company. “The people, especially those in the Redwood City office, were the best part of working at Nintendo,” Monzon wrote on LinkedIn this week. “They were the power-ups that made me feel invincible as we navigated challenges, the key to a treasure chest that unlocked my confidence, and the special items that leveled me up to mega evolve.” He did not indicate where he will go after Nintendo…
People on the Move
Here is this week’s list of promotions, hires, and departures in the gaming/esports industry:
- Alexander Guerrero has been promoted to associate director, strategic partnerships at Enthusiast Gaming.
- Retired U.S. Army Command Sergeant Major Jerry E. Jacobitz joins UKnightedXP as a senior military advisor.
- Nick Amber joins Cloud9 as a senior producer.
- J. Eatedali leaves Twitch after more than three years to join agency UTA.
- Phyllis Lou Halle has been promoted to senior brand manager at Riot Games.
- Eddie Anguiano joins SKADE as its new social media manager—in the past he has worked for Esports One and Esportspedia in similar roles.
- H.B. Duran was laid off from BoomTV, where she spent a lot of her time marketing and promoting Midnight Society’s upcoming game.
- Riley Long joins Michigan-based Grand Valley State to lead its new esports initiatives.
- Former YouGov and Nielsen esports analytics exec Michael Heina joins Shikenso Analytics as chief commercial officer.
- After more than four years at Riot Games, Jared Neuss has left his role as director of production on the company’s unnamed MMO project for a new and unannounced opportunity elsewhere.
- Benjamin Lee has been promoted to the role of finance director of the APAC region at Activision Blizzard.
- Claire Wang has been promoted to product marketing manager for partnerships related to Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile and Call of Duty: Mobile at Activision.
- Michael James Cox will join Blizzard Entertainment as an environment artist in November.
- Sam Harper joins Activision Blizzard-owned Call of Duty developer Infinity Ward as a UX designer.
- Sean Phillips starts a new position as head of marketing for Europe at Phoenix Labs.
- Mandy Beckner has been hired by Riot Games as its new global head of live action development, film, and TV.
- Riley MacLeod has joined Washington Post gaming vertical Launcher.
- Alex Girsh joins PaySafe as its new CFO.
- Chris Petersen joins Paysafe as senior VP, partnerships & core verticals.
- Stephanie M. Lawson is promoted to the role of senior director, commercial Hayu International and direct-to-consumer at NBCUniversal.
- Joey Mason has left his role as VP of engineering at SoundCloud.
In Other News
🙏 Rob Smith, former editor of PC Gamer, OXM, and OPM, passed away this week. He will be greatly missed by his readers, colleagues, friends, and family.
🥇 Call of Duty Senior VP/GM Johanna Faries has been named to Variety’s “Entertainment Gaming Leaders Class of 2022.”
🎤 Dom Sacco and Adam Fitch talk about the state of UK esports.
🤦♀️ Wrestler Booker T fails to prove infringement in court case against Call of Duty makers.
👀 Twitch saw 19.2B views in August.
⬇ U.S. hiring fell 8.9% in September, according to LinkedIn data…
💰 NAMCO BANDAI takes majority stake in German game developer Limbic Entertainment.
Thanks for reading this week’s issue! Want to highlight your latest hire? Looking to promote a new job opening? Drop me a line at email@example.com with the subject line “People on the Move.”