According to GamesIndustry, the departing executive will remain in the industry in assorted capacities, while COO Jurgen Post and Masano Maeda oversee the company in Europe and America, respectively. Sega has not yet confirmed when or how it intends to fill the CEO role in the future.
Sega's American arm was recently struck with unspecified game cancellations, layoffs and significant restructuring in an effort to create a smaller, more profitable business. The company intends to prioritize digital games and safe, mac-and-cheese IPs like Sonic, Total War and Aliens.
LONDON – April 30th, 2012 –SEGA® Europe, Ltd. today can confirm that Mike Hayes, CEO of
SEGA Europe and America will be leaving in the summer. After 8 years of running the Western business Mike has taken the decision to pursue his interests by looking at advisory and non-exec roles both in and outside of the industry. Mike has become a trustee of the Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre Trust as a non-executive director bringing his knowledge of new technology to the skillset of the current Board, and will also be retained in an advisory role at SEGA moving forward.
Mike joined SEGA in 2004 and has overseen the tenfold growth in the company, evolving from a games console manufacturer to a multiplatform software developer and publisher. Mike was heavily involved in the acquisitions of both Sports Interactive and The Creative Assembly and has further moved the business towards a more digital based strategy.
Naoya Tsurumi, President and Representative Director, said, "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."
Mike spent the majority of his career in the entertainment sector. 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 Gameboy handheld games system and in 1991 the 16 bit SNES Nintendo system. At the same time, while working for Bandai games, Mike looked after the toy business within the UK and launched the highly successful Teenage Mutant Heroes range. In the mid 1990's 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.
Jurgen Post will take over from Mike as COO of SEGA Europe.