Big news from Sega this morning: MCV can reveal that Europe and America chief Mike Hayes is to leave his role in the coming months.
Hayes wants to focus on advisory and non-exec roles both inside and outside of the industry – and has already become a trustee of the Birmingham Hippodrove Theatre Trust.
Hayes will leave this summer, and his European duties will be passed down to Jurgen Post, COO of Sega Europe.
For eight years, Hayes has run the Western business at Sega – steering the Japanese firm's interests in Europe and America once it turned to global games publishing.
Naoya Tsurumi, president and representative director, hailed Hayes' achievements at the firm in a statement supplied to MCV: Mike has achieved a huge amount during his time at Sega and we thank him for the amazing things he has accomplished. Mike is a great character and very passionate about the industry, he helped steer the extraordinary growth of Sega and has built an exceptional team of professionals that will stand us in good stead for the future.”
Hayes has overseen a tenfold growth in the company as it switched from format-holder to multiplatform developer and publisher. Specific highlights in Hayes' tenure has been moving the firm to a more digital business model, and acquiring The Creative Aseembly and Sports Interactive, responsible for Sega's biggest hits on PC (the Total War and Football Manager series, respectively).
This was just one phase in a hugely impressive games industry career. He was responsible for the pan European launch of the Trivial Pursuit and Pictionary board games from the mid to late-1980s and the re-launch of the NES Nintendo system in 1989. In 1990 he was responsible for the launch of the multi-million selling Game Boy handheld games system and in 1991 the 16-bit SNES Nintendo system. While working for Bandai games, Mike looked after the toy business within the UK and launched the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles range. In the mid-1990s he spent several years within the cable TV and telephone business including Virgin Media, (formerly Cabletel/NTL) and then joined Codemasters as sales and marketing director.