Members Login
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: New Playfirst CEO

Site Admin

Status: Offline
Posts: 443
New Playfirst CEO

We all read the blog at PF about the new CEO amd CFO.  I was curious as to whether the former CEO & CFO (the founders of Playfirst) had simply hired others to manage the daily tasks or if they had left.

Gamasutra reported the other day that the founder, John Welch, has left.

'Founder and longtime CEO John Welch has departed casual game publisher PlayFirst (Diner Dash series), and Mari Baker steps in -- at the same time, Jim Wandrey becomes CFO.

Welch's unexpected departure comes after a long VC funding history for his firm, including a total of $26.5 million from investors including Mayfield Fund, Trinity Ventures and Rustic Canyon Partners.

Prior to founding PlayFirst, Welch was VP of games and product at AtomShockwave, and has held posts at Sega and Andersen Consulting. He has not yet announced any future plans.

According to an official company statement, new CEO Baker brings more than 20 years of consumer technology experience to PlayFirst, including building consumer brands such as Quicken and women-focused brands such as BabyCenter.

Her previous roles include CEO of Navigenics, President of BabyCenter -- where she led the company's sale to Johnson & Johnson -- and senior vice president of Intuit.

CFO Wandrey actually joined the firm in late 2008, and has held senior management roles at fast-growing start-ups and publicly traded technology companies such as Telephia, where he served as chief financial officer.

"Mari joins PlayFirst at an exciting point in the company's history," says Janice Roberts, managing director of Mayfield Fund and a member of PlayFirst's board of directors.

"PlayFirst has become a creative and leading force in the high growth casual gaming industry with major franchises such as Diner Dash and Chocolatier," she continues. "As a proven business leader, an experienced general manager, and an internet marketing veteran, we are confident that Mari will accelerate the growth of PlayFirst across all major platforms and international markets." '

Meanwhile my own inquiry as to this question of whether this was a good or bad thing for PlayFirst, or was a form of a buyout received this response:

'It's all good. Our previous CEO is moving on to other opportunities (I suspect starting more great companies!) and our previous CFO as well (and I don't know a huge amount about it, but I believe the CFO was part-time - he actually spreads his time between a lot of different companies).

So the overall message, truly is - it's a change for the better. Mari is here to help us grow and make even better games, for a larger audience.
PF is still funded by the same sources as previously (venture capital), so nothing has been bought out.

I'm actually very excited about Mari, not only because she's a woman but because I think we all can learn a lot from her. From all I've heard, she sounds like a great leader and team builder.'


Hobbit Hollow Games

Status: Offline
Posts: 236

Very interesting news, Latte.  Thanks for sharing.


Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves -- for they shall never cease to be amused.

Status: Offline
Posts: 314

wonder if they will start releasing two games a month instead of just one a month ?

Seems like I wait forever for the new playfirst game to come out lol



Status: Offline
Posts: 705

I wonder if this change in management last month had to do anything with other people not having jobs at PlayFirst like Nemone? They may have made a lot of management changes or brought in their own trusted people? That usually happens when upper management changes, mid or lower management gets changed too. weirdface.gif

Page 1 of 1  sorted by
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Tweet this page Post to Digg Post to

Create your own FREE Forum
Report Abuse
Powered by ActiveBoard