Thursday, November 13, 2014

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.



 

Well, no surprise here.

Tom Kirby hired the COO of Games Workshop as the new CEO.

via Games Workshop Investor Relations:


The Board of Games Workshop is pleased to announce the appointment of Kevin Rountree as Chief Executive Officer with effect from 1 January 2015.

Tom Kirby, Chairman and Acting Chief Executive Officer, will take up the position of Non-Executive Chairman with effect from that date.

Kevin, 45, joined Games Workshop in 1998. He is currently Chief Operating Officer of the Company.

Commenting on the appointment, Tom Kirby said: “The Board undertook a thorough process in selecting our new CEO, receiving a significant number of applications for the position, both internal and external. Kevin was the outstanding candidate.

The board congratulates Kevin on his appointment and wishes him every success in his new role.”


Now what is amazing is the interviews happened on November 7th.  So they made a decision that fast?  Sounds like they had already made up their mind and no one interviewed was taken seriously. 

I can't fault elevating a 16 year veteran of the company who managed the operations, to CEO.  If you are going to hire someone internal, that is the right position to hire from.

But what we most likely get is stagnation. It is doubtful there will be new thinking or new ideas.  I am sure Kevin is extremely capable, but he would only have been hired if he was going to follow the Kirby plan, the results of which have gotten GW into the situation they are in.

The only good news is Tom Kirby is now non-executive chairman, so his role is, on the surface, smaller.  Let's hope he allows Kevin the room to put HIS imprint on a company that needs a massive overhaul.

While there is much I like about GW's strategy lately, velocity of releases, quality of product.  (And I am a huge fan of The Black Library and Forge World), their core strategy is flawed.  The company has failed to adapt to the shrinking market share, the inability to retain long time gamers because of price, and the alienation of their independent retailers.

I am hoping for the best, but in all honesty, GW needs to be a privately held company.

Loken


5 comments:

ChapterMasters said...

I don't see how being private helps. They need to make more profit by taking back market share, being private does nothing to change that. G.W. Lest successful years were spent as a private company. I.m glad they are public, I'm just surprise Tom still has a job.

Daniel Grundy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daniel Grundy said...

Tom has a job because there was no one to fire him unless a vote of no confidence is raised by the shareholders but the majority of the shares lie in the hands of pension companies who just want regular dividends and don;t realy care about the cost per share.
Unless the profits drop off again next year and possibly the next with big drops in dividends the shareholders won't kick up a fuss.
Also Tom is 64 so is it realy a surprise that hue wants to retire to an easier role.

the one said...

I agree, privatising is a great way to generate profits over the short to mid term (and by that I don't mean a few weeks, but years), but in the long run it is not sustainable to have ever increasing profits. Everything has a finite limitation on how much it can be exploited.

I think the future for GW is being sold off to a large toy company, one bigger than themselves.

Loken said...

Chapter Masters, you don't understand the basic premise that as a public company you are required to generate growth every year. You are beholden to shareholders and not the best interest of the company. And with GW unable to increase market share, and showing flat growth, there are some tough times ahead if the company isn't bought.

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