Departure sparks product development reshuffle, with three key execs promoted to new roles

Sorensen leaves THQ

THQ’s executive vice president of worldwide studios Jack Sorensen has left the company, sparking a reshuffle of its product development management – all part of an overall bid to improve the quality of titles coming out of its internal studios.

Sorensen joined THQ as head of studios in 2001 after 12 years in other key industry roles, including head of LucasArts. At THQ he oversaw the expansion of its studio division, including the expansion of UK-based Juice. His next role in the games industry is not yet known.

As part of the reorganisation following his departure, former THQ VP of production Roy Tessler has been promoted to SVP of production and worldwide studios. Meanwhile the publisher has promoted creative development VP, and former EA worldwide studios creative director, Danny Bilson to SVP of creative development; plus former VP of studio finance Steve DeCosta has been appointed SVP of product development finance and administration.

Tessler will "oversee production across THQ’s product portfolio including direct oversight of THQ’s internal studios" the company said, while Bilson and his team "will continue to lead THQ’s creative direction, with particular focus on THQ’s owned intellectual properties" and DeCosta "will continue to oversee project forecasting and cost management across the product development organisation".

Each of the three will report ‘directly and collectively’ to THQ president and CEO Brian Farrell, and the changes come to support the firm’s "continued focus on improving quality, predictability and profitability across the company’s product portfolio," the publisher said in a statement.

"This reorganisation creates a more efficient management structure, aligning Roy, Danny and Steve as my direct reports," added Farrell.

"I look forward to working directly with them to more expeditiously achieve our quality, predictability and profitability targets.

On Sorensen he added: "Jack Sorensen has played an important role in building out THQ’s studio system and has been a key contributor to THQ’s success over the past seven years. We appreciate his service to the company and wish him well in his future endeavors."

Execs at THQ have been keenly looking to overhaul the firm’s development resources throughout the past year. In January, the firm has admitted it was tweaking its development strategy, ditching unprofitable franchises and slimming its development resources, as it looked to improve efficiency, profitability and the quality of owned IP. Last month it announced plans to work with Chinese games developers for its push into Asia.

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