Ins and Outs: July 2023’s industry hires roundup

Here are the highlights from the recent industry hires and moves, as published in MCV/DEVELOP’s July 2023 issue. 

KALEY HURST has been promoted to vice president of sales and marketing at PTW, where she will be overseeing key areas of commercial growth for the company. She has been at PTW for the last eight years, and will now be responsible for all of PTW’s sales and marketing efforts for their various lines of business, and will report directly to Deborah Kirkham, CEO of PTW.

JESSICA WELLS has been promoted from editor of The Loadout to group editor of Network N Media overall. She’ll be looking after PCGamesN and Custom PC Wells was one of the MCV/DEVELOP 30 Under 30 in 2022, where we called her ‘one of the standout young editors within the industry’, so y’know, she’s a good get.

Joining Wells at Network N Media is LOUISE CAREY, who will be the group editor of brands The Loadout, Pocket Tactics, The Digital Fix, Wargamer and Gear Nuke. Carey previously worked as the editor of Top Ten Reviews at Future plc, so this new role should present her with plenty of unique challenges and opportunities as she experiences all of its expanded scope and variety.

MARK WARD has been promoted over at Hasbro, and is now its director of communications for the EMEA, LATAM, Asia and Pacific regions of the world. He’ll continue to represent the Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering franchises for Wizards of the Coast, but will now also be responsible for communications across all the Hasbro toys and video game franchises, which includes megahits like The Transformers, G.I. Joe and Power Rangers.

Over at in-game advertising technology company Bidstack, they’ve promoted CHRIS VINCELLI as the vice president of enterprise partnerships. Vincelli has around a decade of experience in the mobile advert industry under his belt. He has a proven track record of implementing successful strategies and driving revenue growth. Now that he’s at Bidstack, he will work with its industry partners like Miniclip, Take-Two and Sports Interactive and will set his sights on achieving similar results for his new firm.

LUKE WINTFLINT has returned to the north east, and will join Nosebleed Interactive as its lead game designer just in time for his ninth anniversary in the game industry. Wintflint started his career working at Metaphoric Games and Coatsink Software in the bug report trenches as a QA Tester on indie titles, and worked his way up the ladder from there.

LIAM WICKHAM is now at nDreams where he’s working as the chief development officer. Wickham comes to the studio following a stint at Lockwood Publishing where he was vice president of production and chief of staff. Before his time at Lockwood, he was one of the people at PlayStation that worked on the PlayStation Home project.

TOM GILLO has also been promoted to chief creative officer at nDreams. He has been with nDreams for eight years and was previously the company’s chief development officer. Before his time at nDreams, he was an executive producer and game director at PlayStation London Studio, where he worked on several AR and VR projects as well as PlayStation Home.

There must be promotions in the air, as Media Molecule has also promoted JOHN BEECH from lead game designer to creative director. Beech will be responsible for directing the team through its next project, following the end of development on Dreams. He’s been at Media Molecule for over 14 years, and is perhaps best known by people outside the company for coming up with Tren, the first ‘Media Molecule Originals’ game.

JAMIE SMITH has left Sumo Digital to join People Can Fly as the lead game designer on an unannounced project. Smith is a member of BAFTA and has been a juror on at least one of their awards for its last three awards seasons.

We Are Social has appointed RACHEL RAKOWSKI as its global head of gaming. She will be leading the We Are Social Gaming division that was launched in 2021.Rakowski will work with local markets to drive growth in the video game space. She comes to We Are Social from Logitech G, where she was the senior global brand manager.

Exient has promoted CHRISTA AGIUS from her prior role as the studio’s product director, to chief operating officer. She helped deliver many key releases and game updates and will now be responsible for building out Exient’s capabilities as it supports its firstparty games and collaborations with other publishers and platforms.

MARC ESCRIBANO has been appointed as Sandsoft Games’ new director of data and analytics. Escribano comes to the developer from Scopely, where he was the director of analytics engineering. Escribano spent nearly a decade at popular Spanish fashion label Desigual. We assume that means he is now one of the best-dressed men in the video game industry.

Game developer and publisher Kwalee has hired ADRIAN GARTON as its new vice president of HR. Garton brings with him a wealth of experience in equality, diversity and inclusion, talent acquisition, employee engagement, and organisational development, making him an invaluable addition to the Kwalee leadership team.

CHRIS WALLACE has joined Dead Good PR as a junior account manager. You might remember him from such telethons as Out With Gout ’88 and Let’s Save Tony Orlando’s House. Wait. No. That’s Troy McClure from The Simpsons. You’ll probably recognise him as MCV/DEVELOP’s precious staff writer, during which time he wrote some of the best When We Made features to ever grace the magazine.


LOUISE GAYNOR is now executive director of media at Diva. She has over 25 years of media industry experience, and is very familiar with offering a fully integrated campaign service to clients.

Diva has also hired ZOE MANN as its latest junior strategist. She was previously the strategy associate at Dialect Inc, working on game peripheral and web3 projects.

CÉLINE SMITH is now a senior motion graphics designer at Diva, and will be working with the team to both expand Diva’s motion offering and develop its internal technical creative expertise. She was born and raised in South Africa, but relocated to Bristol in 2020.

JOE CROCKER has become a senior account manager for the client services team at Diva. He spent the last five years working at TMW Unlimited for clients like Toyota GB, Lexus UK, BMW Group UK and Alfa Romeo. Crocker is also the volunteer marketing manager for Pride in London.

Diva has also taken on a creative technology intern in PRISCILLA KODJO, who has taken on a placement that will last for three months. The internship is part of a Bristol city-wide initiative that aims to help young people from underrepresented groups get into careers in creative industries.

JAMES HASELTINE is the latest senior PR and communications account manager to join the PR team at Diva. He spent the last 7 years in film PR at Substance Global.

CHARLOTTE WILLIS has made an move from within Diva’s client services team after over three years, and will be joining their PR department as an account manager. In a past life she was a marketing and communications executive at Capita for their core business areas.

Diva has recruited a new people and HR manager in ABIGAIL CROFT, who will be taking on her first job in the games industry. In the past she has worked in human resources for the education, manufacturing and engineering sectors.


CARLOS ULLOA is now a technical art director at Sumo Sheffield. He’s been in the games industry since 1996, and his career has included stints at companies such as Epic Games, CCP Games and Psygnosis. He is also known for being the creator of the Fantasynth series of VR music experiences.

Sumo Sheffield has hired TEAGAN CUREWEN as a quality assurance lead. Curwen comes to them after spending the last 10 years in QA roles at Creative Assembly. Before that she worked at Krome Studios while the studio was working on games like The Legend of Spyro and Viva Piñata: Party Animals.

Sumo Nottingham has a new project design director, thanks to the hire of JASON LEE. Jason spent over 13 years at Relic Entertainment, where he worked on titles like Age of Empires IV, Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War 2 and Company of Heroes.

MATTHEW SHEPPARD will join Lee at Sumo Nottingham, where he’ll be one of their principal lighting artists. Sheppard has worked in similar digital lighting roles across the industry in the past, including Avalanche Studios and PlayStation London Studio. He also spent some time in Vancouver, over at Capcom and Rockstar.

MARK BRASSINGTON has joined Sumo Leamington as a senior character artist. He comes to them from a galaxy far far away (er, Zynga), where he was working on Star Wars Hunters. In the past he also worked at Playfusion, Rare, Jagex and Ubisoft Reflections.

BOBBY MCGILL is now the live-ops product marketing manager at Secret Mode. He was most recently an assistant product marketing manager at NCSOFT West, and prior to that he was at Rebellion, working in marketing across their games, books, and comics. If we see him at an industry event, we’ll have to ask him what Tharg is like.

Finally, the Sumo Group has hired MEG ROOPER as a video editor. Previously she was a videographer at religious charity The Message Trust, which she did alongside freelance work. She’s also a graduate of Leeds Beckett University, where she received a B.A. in Childhood Studies.

About Vince Pavey

Vince is a writer from the North-East of England who has worked on comics for The Beano and Doctor Who. He likes to play video games and eat good food. Sometimes he does both at the same time, but he probably shouldn’t.

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