The CEO of listed videogames firm Team17 is to step down.

Debbie Bestwick MBE transformed the Wakefield company’s fortunes from a label focused mainly on its historic Worms franchise into a creative partner and publisher of independent games titles as well as educational titles.

She also led the firm through a listing on the junior AIM segment of the London Stock Exchange, telling BusinessCloud afterwards that they floated “for our people”.

Bestwick, who intends to spend more time with her family, said she will continue in the role until a successor has been found from external and internal candidates and a handover completed.

She will then transition into a non-executive role.

The news comes as the company reveals a 52% increase in revenue to £137.4 million in its 2022 results, with a 53% increase in gross profit to £69.6m.

EBITDA increased 36% to £48.8m, while adjusted profit before tax rose 35% to £47.1m.

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“This has probably been the hardest decision I’ve made, but I wouldn’t have made it if I wasn’t confident in the succession plans and the leadership team’s ability to deliver the clear and focused strategy regarding our collective goals and ambitions,” she said. 

“Ultimately, I want to spend more time with my children who have made sacrifices many times during my career and specifically to spend more time with my youngest before he goes to university.

“With Team17 now unrecognisable compared to those early days, and with our fantastic senior team working seamlessly across the business and our growth strategy firmly in place, now is the time to focus on the next generation.

“The future looks extremely bright for the group, and I look forward to continuing to support the business to find my successor and then in a new capacity as a non-executive director when that time arrives.”

Chris Bell, non-executive chair, thanked Bestwick for “her absolute devotion to Team17”.

“I know that without her almost limitless enthusiasm for the business, we simply would not be where we are today,” he added.

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