CEO of £2bn games firm steps down

Posted on June 15, 2021 by Jonathan Symcox

Andrew Day, Keywords

Andrew Day

The CEO of listed videogames firm Keywords Studios has stepped down for health reasons. 

Andrew Day had taken a temporary leave of absence from the business but, following his health scare, has decided to bring forward a longer-term retirement plan. 

He will therefore be leaving his role as CEO and his position as a director of the board with immediate effect. 

The company is searching for a successor, with Day available to the board for an initial period of six months in an advisory capacity to support a smooth transition. 

Jon Hauck and Sonia Sedler will continue as joint interim CEOs. The firm says Hauck provides clear continuity for the group’s acquisition strategy, while Sedler has already taken responsibility for the operational performance of the business and driving organic growth.  

“I am deeply proud of the business that we have built together, which over my 12 years as CEO has grown from a privately held company with a single localisation and testing studio in Dublin employing 50 people, to a publicly traded global technical and creative services group with over 9,000 people in 69 studios in 22 countries working passionately with our video games publisher and developer clients to create, adapt and support so many of the world’s leading games,” said Day. 

“It has been a huge honour to lead the wonderful Keywordians around the world. Whilst my recent health scare has brought about a reassessment of my priorities and brought forward a retirement that I was otherwise looking forward to in the coming few years, I am pleased to be leaving the group in such a strong position to continue to deliver on its proven strategy.  

“This strategy continues to deliver excellent momentum in organic growth and acquisition execution, thanks to having an extremely capable leadership team in place and a rock solid foundation of dedicated Keywordians around the world, with unrivalled breadth and depth of talent, who are passionate about every project entrusted to them. 

“I am confident that the group will continue its march of delivering high quality growth both organically and from acquisitions of the type that has taken us from IPO in 2013 with a market capitalisation of £50m to around £2bn today.” 

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Keywords reported total revenue growth of 36% for the first four months of the year and has acquired Tantalus Media and Climax Studios in 2021.  

Ross Graham, Chairman of Keywords Studios, commented: “Whilst we are sad to see Andrew go, we fully support his decision to bring his retirement plans forward and wish him a very happy retirement. 

“Under Jon’s and Sonia’s direction, the group has continued to perform strongly whilst also continuing to add scale and reach through the recent acquisitions of the high quality businesses, Tantalus Media and Climax Studios. 

“The group is well placed, with a leading position in the buoyant video games market and a strong balance sheet, to continue to build upon its strong platform both organically and through selective acquisitions from a healthy pipeline of opportunities.”   

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