Thursday 19th February/... ELSPA, the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association has promoted its Managing Director Michael Rawlinson to the post of Director General.
Michael has been with ELSPA since 1999. He was appointed Deputy Director General in November 2001 and Managing Director of ELSPA in May 2006. This move follows the stepping aside of the current Director General Paul Jackson, who will be moving into an advisory role within the organisation.
In Michael's role as Managing Director he has been responsible for the day-to-day management of the association and was instrumental in developing PEGI, the pan-European voluntary age rating system for videogames, which came into operation April 2003.
Building on this experience, his wide-ranging responsibility will continue to include keeping abreast of the comprehensive challenges continuously facing the industry; the most prevalent current issue being the age classification consultation which came out of the Byron Review into Children and New Technology.
Michael has recently been appointed as the videogames industry representative to the executive board of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety. The council's establishment was a key recommendation of the Byron Review, and this is a significant step forward for the recognition of the industry as an established part of our entertainment culture.
Andy Payne commented: "We greatly thank Paul Jackson for his dedication and commitment over the past two and a half years, establishing ELSPA as a key conduit between the video games industry and the UK Government. Whilst we are losing Paul on an operational basis, we are fortunate that he will continue to support ELSPA in his new role. Michael has excelled under Paul's leadership and is now absolutely ready to take the role as Director General and lead ELSPA into the future."
ELSPA composes the most influential organisations in the entertainment industry including Activison/Blizzard, Disney, EA, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sega, Sony, UBI Soft and Eidos to name a few.
These personnel changes position ELSPA with robust leadership in order to prepare for the future challenges of the videogames business and the entertainment industry.
ELSPA, the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association, was founded in 1989 to establish a specific and collective identity for the British computer and video games industry.
Since then, the membership has steadily grown from 12 to nearly 60 companies, including all the major companies concerned with the publishing and distribution of interactive leisure and entertainment software in the UK. ELSPA works to protect, promote and provide for the interests of all its members, as well as addressing issues that affect the industry as a whole through:
Sales charts and reports
Conferences and seminars
IP Crime enforcement
Reviewing proposed Legislation