Ins and Outs – June 2019’s industry hires roundup

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

Brian Joyce, Darren Roberts, Darryl Flinders

Marketing agency Heaven Media has made a few appointments. Brian Joyce has joined the firm as global accounts director. Joyce has over 25 years’ experience in sales and marketing and has contributed to the growth of major brands including Alienware and Dell. Joining after ten years at Razer is Darren Roberts, as new business development manager. He also has previous experiences at AMD and Nvidia. Last but not least, Heaven Media has a new head of events in the form of Darryl Flinders, who has 25 years of experience in running global marketing campaigns and events.

MD Mark Reed said: “Expanding our team allows us to provide our clients with a range of services which are tightly targeted, engaging and results orientated.”

James Ruiz McNerney, Megan Garrett

James Ruiz McNerney and Megan Garrett have joined the Genba Digital team.

Ruiz McNerney previously worked on retail compliance at Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe – he joined the firm as business development manager. Meanwhile, Garrett was previously at Activision Blizzard as a digital account associate and has been appointed commercial manager.

Both will be based at Genba Digital’s new London office.

Aoife Wilson, Johnny Chiodini

Eurogamer’s video producer of nearly five years Aoife Wilson has been promoted to head of video at the publication. In her new role, she will lead a “soft reboot” of the channel alongside video producer Ian Higton.

This follows the departure of senior video producer Johnny Chiodini for Gamer Network’s new tabletop games publication, which hadn’t been named at the time of writing. He’ll be the new brand’s head of video.

Dan Gray, Maria Sayans, Peter Pashley
Ustwo Games has appointed Maria Sayans as its new chief executive officer, with former head of studio Dan Gray now assuming the position of chief creative officer, overseeing the output of the studio and directing Ustwo’s latest title, Repair.
Meanwhile, former head of development Peter Pashley has been promoted to chief development officer.
Sayans was previously a board advisor to the company with 20+ years industry experience, including 15 years at EA. She will be responsible for “driving the studio’s continued growth and leading company strategy,” the announcement said, with Gray commenting: “Our unique approach to making games has produced truly memorable experiences for players over the years. But we’ve never really formalised this process or even had a creative director. As the studio expands to make multiple games at once, I want to spend my time ensuring that we continue to make games with heart and personality.”
Sayans added: “The games industry is going to change in the coming years, and we want to make sure our most talented and creative people have the space and freedom to focus on making great games.”
John Vignocchi

John Vignocchi has left Gearbox less than a year after joining the studio as executive producer. The former Disney Infinity VP has moved on for a “dream opportunity” to work with Nintendo of America to drive developer and publisher relations.

Vignocchi commented on Twitter: “I plan to help continue the tradition of building memories through Nintendo that will last a lifetime. I certainly have a lifetime of them already and can’t wait to make more.”

Samantha Ebelthite

Electronic Arts has appointed Samantha Ebelthite as its new UK and Ireland country manager. Ebelthite takes the reins from Shaun Campbell, who has been moved into an alternate, and unspecified, position at the time of writing, after almost five years leading the company’s UK activities.

Ebelthite joined the publisher in February 2018 as head of sales for UK and Ireland and was promoted to country manager in May 2019. Before joining EA, Ebelthite held various positions at pharmaceutical company GSK.

Gary Edwards

Sumo Digital has announced the hire of Gary Edwards as studio director of its Nottingham premises. Previously production director, and with Sumo since 2005, he has played a key role in the company’s growth. He will now lead Sumo Nottingham, which was founded in 2016.

Sumo Digital’s MD Gary Dunn commented: “I am delighted that Gary is taking the helm in Nottingham. He’s been with Sumo for 14 years and has been responsible for delivering some of our most significant work; it’s great to give him the career opportunity he deserves.”

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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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