Ins and Outs – May 2021’s industry hires roundup

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

Wizards of the Coast’s EMEA team is looking forward to a “hugely exciting year” with new hires and promotions. The team has big plans for Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering over the next 12 months.

First, the team has expanded with the hire of Mark Ward as senior corporate communications manager EMEA. Ward has moved on from nearly 12 years at Warner Bros and has almost 30 years of industry experience.

In addition, Louise Clarke has been appointed as finance manager – EMEA & Asia Pacific. Clark spent 16 years in the commercial finance department at Hasbro supporting various markets and projects across Europe.

Within the Wizards team, Vanisha Kavia has been promoted to director of marketing – EMEA. Kavia has extensive industry marketing experience, having previously worked with both Nintendo and LEGO.

Still at Wizards of the Coast, Louise Handa has been promoted to sales and retail marketing director – EMEA. Handa has extensive industry experience across both videogames and distribution with Nintendo and Gem.

Ailish Sullivan has been promoted to Wizard of the Coast’s channel sales manager – EMEA. Sullivan has been with the studio for 2 years now, having joined as an ecommerce specialist
in 2019.

Finally at Wizards of the Coast, Aleksey Osipov has been promoted to channel development manager – EMEA, after having worked at the studio for four years.

“Our recent appointments and promotions highlight our commitment to engaging and developing the very best talent from across the games industry. Our team embraces experience, collaboration and creativity in the pursuit of excellence” said Brian Trunk, head of EMEA, Wizards of the Coast.

There’s been a changeup over at Nintendo Life.

First, Kate Gray makes her return to games journalism by joining the site as their full-time staff writer. Gray began her career at Official Nintendo Magazine, and has also worked at Official Xbox Magazine. More recently, Gray worked as a narrative director over at Goodbye Volcano High and GNOG developer KO_OP.

Next up, Thomas Whitehead has returned as the site’s deputy editor. Whitehead had previously worked at Nintendo Life from 2011-2017, before leaving to join publisher Circle Entertainment.

Finally, Gavin Lane has been promoted to the position of Nintendo Life site editor, having worked as the site’s features editor.

Over at GAMINGbible, Tom Ryan-Smith has been promoted to channel manager. Smith was previously the site’s video editor, having joined during the UNILAD days back in 2017.

Sumo Digital has four new hires at the company.

First, Keith Burden joins as senior artist at Sumo Leamington. Burden was previously senior car artist over at Codemasters, where he worked on GRID, Dirt 2, Dirt 3, and more.

Meanwhile, Jagadish Kumar Patnala joins Sumo Sheffield as senior technical artist. Patnala has previously worked in software development, architecture for 12 years in the 2D, 3D, animation and VFX domains.

Stacey Smith also joins Sumo Sheffield, as head of IT operations. Smith has over 18 years’ of experience in the IT industry working in various sectors such as manufacturing, banking, and healthcare.

Christina Haralambous also joins Sumo Group, as group director, communications and marketing. Haralambous joins from Kambi, where she was working as global chief marComms officer.

Secret Mode, the publishing division announced by The Sumo Group has announced that Amila Gacanica has joined the team as head of commercial strategy. Gacanica has three years of commercial experience in the gaming industry at SEGA and a further six plus years of experience across data and analytics in the fashion apparel world.

Silvia Gomis-Lopez has been promoted to UK communications executive at Ubisoft. Gomis-Lopez was previously the company’s UK marketing assistant.

Finally, there’s two hires over at Kwalee to shout about. Ben Ellis joins as a publishing scouting manager. Ellis previously worked for nearly four years in product acquisitions at Team17.

Artem Chupryna also joins as a publishing manager, working on the hypercasual mobile side of Kwalee’s business. Artem was previously working at Homa Games where he held the same title.

Got an appointment you’d like to share with us? Email Chris Wallace at

About Chris Wallace

Chris is a freelancer writer and was MCV/DEVELOP's staff writer from November 2019 until May 2022. He joined the team after graduating from Cardiff University with a Master's degree in Magazine Journalism. He can be found on Twitter at @wallacec42, where he mostly explores his obsession with the Life is Strange series, for which he refuses to apologise.

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