Sumo looks to improve training and development with two new appointments

Sumo Group has expanded its team to establish two brand-new training and education posts.

Jenny Muhlwa will enhance and increase internal training across Sumo Digital, Atomhawk, Red Kite Games, and The Chinese Room as learning and development manager, whilst Dr Jake Habgood’s new position as director of education partnerships see them build “closer external relationships with educational partners to strengthen Sumo’s talent pipeline”.

Muhlwa brings staff development experience from brands like Wilko and Unipart, whilst Habgood is a former Sheffield Hallam academic who taught on its games software development degrees, as well as founding the indie studio Steel Minions, which provides “work-based simulation for students”. 

“I’m thrilled to bring my expertise and passion for learning to such an exciting and ground-breaking industry role,” said Habgood. “It’s a great privilege to be able to work alongside so many talented colleagues and former students again, and I look forward to contributing to the continued success of the Sumo Group.”

“I’m delighted to work for a company that’s so ready to embrace a learning culture; Sumo has already committed to 5 days of paid personal development time for every employee,” said Jenny Muhlwa, Sumop’s learning and development manager. “I’m looking forward to seeing how that and other exciting programs take shape, enabling our diverse talent to reach their career goals.” 

“Embracing a Learning and Development Culture at Sumo is something that we’re passionate about and we’re supporting that with these appointments,” added Paul Porter, COO of Sumo Group. “In addition to encouraging the personal growth of our staff, we have a strong desire to inspire and attract the next generation of video game development talent and provide them with every opportunity to build a lifelong career in games.  I’m delighted to welcome both Jenny and Jake on board to expand our initiatives in these areas.”  

Sumo Group earned £38.1 million in revenue in the year ending December 31st, 2018, a 35 per cent increase year-on-year (YoY). Gross profit also increased – jumping 39 per cent YoY to £18.4 million – and EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) of £10.4 million, up 25 per cent YoY. However, as this is a non-GAAP (generally accepted accounting principle) metric, Sumo actually reports a pre-tax loss of £0.5 million – a significant improvement on 2017’s loss of £28 million.

Sumo Digital acquired The Chinese Room – which has since added a number of new staff “across a variety of disciplines” to its team – in a surprise move in August. The move is an important one for Sumo and IPO, with the company having previously been almost exclusively a work-for-hire studio. 

The company also recently opened its seventh UK based studio, Sumo North West, in Warrington. Led by Scott Kirkland, the studio joins other studios across the UK in Leamington Spa, Sheffield, Nottingham, Brighton, Newcastle, and Leeds, as well as a further studio in Pune, India. Sumo Digital only moved into its new Leamington Spa office earlier this year, but already the studio is moving onto bigger premises.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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