Ins and Outs – January’s industry hires roundup

Former Premier PR senior publicist (and one of MCV’s 30 Under 30 2017) Daniela Pietrosanu has joined Frontier Development as associate PR manager. She spent over three years at Premier, becoming the UK lead for Square Enix titles.

The games industry has a new key minister of state as Margot James has been appointed as Minister for Digital and Creative Industries, following a wider government reshuffle. James previously was Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy for two years.

Freelance games journalist Dom Peppiatt has now joined the Daily Star gaming team full-time. Gaming editor James Wright had been running that section on his own since December 2015. He said: “I’m really happy to have Dom join the team on a more permanent basis.”

VR developer nDreams has made two new senior hires. Tech industry veteran Martin Prendergast joined as COO, with nDreams’ CEO Patrick O’Luanaigh commenting: “I’m delighted to welcome Martin on board. His experience, wisdom and commercial skills are going to play a vital role in our growth as we continue to expand nDreams.” Meanwhile, Steve Tagger is the firm’s new business development director, bringing over 20 years of experience in the industry. He said: “I’m thrilled to be joining the amazing team at nDreams. The pioneering projects we’re working on right  now place nDreams at the forefront of the VR industry.”

Future Publishing has appointed Will Hattam as chief marketing officer, joining from Archant where he held the same position. Stacy Gaines has also joined the company as US marketing & strategic partnership VP. Future’s CEO Zillah Byng-Thorne commented: "I am thrilled to welcome Will to the team. His calibre and experience across the media sector will contribute substantially to the continued development of the business into a global platform for specialist media with scalable, diversified brands. Stacy has the insight and expertise we need to continue our growth in the US market and there’s no one better for the job.”

Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) has promoted Jim Ryan from head of global sales and marketing to deputy president of SIE. Ryan has been with SIE since 1994, with several senior roles over the course of his 23 years with the company. He said: “I’m looking forward to leveraging the experience that I have at PlayStation, both in Europe and also in leading global sales and marketing, to support [president] John Kodera as SIE strives to further expand the PlayStation business globally.”

Matt Booty has been named corporate vice president of Microsoft Studios, with former operations head Helen
replacing him as head of Minecraft. In his new role, Booty will take charge of the budgets and outputs of 343 Industries, The Coalition, Mojang, Rare, Turn 10 Studios, and Microsoft Studios Global Publishing. Booty commented: “I look at it first and foremost as an opportunity to serve and provide a leadership layer to the studio heads, so they can focus even more on making great games.”

Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg will be departing the firm in March. He had been Activision Publishing’s CEO for eight years and the firm is now “actively conducting a search for the next CEO of Activision.”

GAME chief financial officer Mark Gifford has resigned and will leave the High Street retailer at the end of March to “ensure a smooth transition,” the announcement said. It added that Gifford was leaving to “focus on his other business and personal interests” and that the company has started to look for a replacement.

Games industry veteran Phil Harrison has joined Google, taking up the role of vice president and general manager. Harrison is best known for a 15 year tenure as head of Sony’s network of game studios.

News editor Ben Barrett has announced his departure from PCGamesN to move to France and become Focus Home Interactive’s new product manager. He spent over two years at PCGamesN, where he started in late 2015.

Ukie’s biz dev executive Meg Rice has joined voice recording studios OM UK, as product manager. She said: “I’ve always been passionate about narrative and dialogue driven games so I’m beyond excited to join the team. I am absolutely in awe of the voice talent we have in the industry and I can’t wait to work alongside them.”

About Marie Dealessandri

Marie Dealessandri is MCV’s former senior staff writer. After testing the waters of the film industry in France and being a radio host and reporter in Canada, she settled for the games industry in London in 2015. She can be found (very) occasionally tweeting @mariedeal, usually on a loop about Baldur’s Gate, Hollow Knight and the Dead Cells soundtrack.

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