Friday 29th August/... Following a third successive fiscal year of double digit revenue growth and sustained profitability, Codemasters® has swooped to secure four key industry players to join its senior management team and today named its new Senior Vice President Publishing, Vice President Marketing, Vice President Finance, and Director Digital Technologies.
The much respected former Managing Director of THQ Entertainment GmbH, Nintendo of Europe and recent CEO of Bally Wulff Entertainment GmbH, Axel Herr is appointed Senior Vice President, Publishing EMEA with responsibility for the company’s publishing business in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Distributor Territories.
At Codemasters’ corporate headquarters Alex Bertie, previously Electronic Arts’ European Studios Marketing Director, has joined the management team in the role of Vice President, Brand&Marketing with responsibility for strategic and operational marketing, including brand and product management, on a worldwide basis.
Formerly Platform Development Manager with Sony Computer Entertainment, Matt Jeffery joins Codemasters as Director, Digital Technologies. In this role, Matt will be managing future business opportunities for Codemasters’ technologies, such as the EGO™ Engine, and the company’s digital delivery systems.
Previously UK Finance Director for Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Paul Martin will join Codemasters in September as Vice President Finance with responsibility for driving forward the finance agenda of the Codemasters Group.
“Codemasters is coming off the back of three consecutive years of double digit revenue growth and sustained profitability. The industry outlook is compelling and Codemasters is on the fast track. It is a high octane company with great energy and we are attracting people who make things happen,” said Rod Cousens, CEO.
“Axel, Alex, Paul and Matt have already made their mark in their respective fields. They are driven, have a hunger to succeed and a high work ethic. At Codemasters, they are a good fit and can be the incoming tide that takes the company forward. By targeting revenue uplift in excess of 50 percent in the current fiscal year, Codemasters is poised for its greatest surge yet.”
With a clutch of recent awards won for its development and tech output, Codemasters has escalated its production capability and is planning to further expand its internal studios through the course of the year.
2008 has yet to see the introduction of new core gaming IPs Rise of the Argonauts and Damnation in addition to The Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria, the first retail expansion for the award-winning MMORPG. For the family entertainment sectors, Codemasters will launch Bella Sara, based on the fantasy horse franchise for girls, and in partnership with Microsoft publish You’re in the Movies exclusively for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft®.
Titles announced for 2009 include the return of the legendary military gaming franchise in Operation Flashpoint 2: Dragon Rising, the recently announced FUEL, the trio of Overlord titles and the official games of the world’s leading motor sport property under the FORMULA 1 licence.
New Management Team Members:
Axel Herr, SVP Publishing EMEA.
Based at Codemasters’ offices in Hamburg, Germany, Axel will manage Codemasters’ business in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Distributor Territories. Most recently, Axel spent two years as CEO of Bally Wulff Entertainment GmbH, the German-based European leader in traditional amusement and arcade entertainment machines.
With over 20 years of entertainment management experience with major entertainment and computer companies, Axel is well respected in the international video games market. As Managing Director, THQ Entertainment GmbH (July 2003– May 2006), he is credited with successfully turning around the company’s German, Swiss and Austrian business. Prior to THQ, Axel was Managing Director, Nintendo of Europe GmbH for five years through to June 2003 and introduced the Nintendo Game Cube, the Game Boy Advance and Game Boy Advance SP. He has also held senior positions at Konami of Europe GmbH, SEGA of Germany and Dell.
“Codemasters is rapidly establishing itself as a content creator of global prominence,” said Axel Herr, SVP Publishing, EMEA.“With a US publishing base and a new operation in Japan, I am intent on pushing ahead the business in Europe and in the emerging high growth distributor-based territories.”
Alex Bertie, VP Brand&Marketing:
Prior to joining Codemasters, Alex was Worldwide Marketing Director, European Studios, for Electronic Arts. During his five-year tenure with EA, Alex worked with EA’s three major European studios– Dice, Criterion and Bright Light– and managed franchises including Harry Potter, Burnout and Battlefield. Alex joined EA from the music industry where he served in marketing and A&R roles at BMG/RCA and Polydor/Universal.
“I came and I liked what I saw. For me, it opened my eyes to what is happening at Codemasters and there is a lot to do and a lot to work with. Our recent success, world-class development talent and broad product portfolio means this place is really charged,” said Alex Bertie, VP Brand&Marketing.“I’m looking forward to working with the talented marketing teams we have at both our central headquarters in the UK and our international offices to help drive further growth for the industry’s fastest growing global publisher.”
Paul Martin, VP Finance:
With 10 years experience in the music industry, Paul has managed various finance teams within Sony and Bertelsmann through a number of acquisitions and mergers, including the merger with Zomba music and the subsequent merger between Sony and BMG in 2004. Prior to working for Sony and BMG, Paul spent 6 years with KPMG, working in the UK and Australia.
“I am looking forward to working with these go-getters at Codemasters,” said Paul Martin, VP Finance.“The company continues to go from strength to strength and I’m thrilled to be joining Codemasters during such a buoyant period for the Gaming Industry."
Matt Jeffery, Director, Digital Technologies:
Matt spent over five years with Sony Computer Entertainment as Platform Development Manager and previously worked in the banking sector specialising in international corporate credit. At Sony he was responsible for platform planning and new business development activity for the PlayStation business throughout Europe. He was involved in several strategic deals including the recent Joint Venture between Sony and BSkyB for video downloading and the collaboration with British Telecom Plc for communications services for PSP.
“Codemasters has a great gaming history and strong line up going forward,” said Matt Jeffery, Director, Digital Technologies.“I am excited to join the team developing digital business opportunities that will take the organisation through the current generation of consoles, further into the online space and beyond to the next cycle.”
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Codemasters is a leading developer and publisher of best-selling interactive entertainment products for a global audience across multiple gaming platforms and channels. Established in 1986, the company’s dominant brands include Colin McRae DiRT, Race Driver GRID, Overlord and Operation Flashpoint; the company recently secured the exclusive worldwide video game rights to FORMULA 1. Codemasters is the recipient of the UK Developer of the Year title from the 25th Golden Joystick Awards and, most recently, Codemasters Studios recently won the UK Development Team category in the MCV Industry Excellence Awards 2008. Codemasters’ cross-platform development technology the EGO™ Engine was named Best Technology 2007 in the awards hosted by TIGA, the Independent Game Developers Association. Codemasters is headquartered in Warwickshire UK, with North American operations based in Universal City, Calif. The company also maintains operations in Germany, France, Spain, Benelux and Malaysia. Codemasters receives over two million visitors to its web site every month, discover why at www.codemasters.com
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