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Riot Games has announced its current global president A. Dylan Jadeja, will be the publisher’s next CEO. Jadeja is taking over for Nicolo Laurent who led the League of Legends and Valorant publisher for six years.
Riot Games leadership shake up
Jadeja has been with Riot Games in leadership positions since 2011. He initially served as its chief financial officer and added chief operating officer in 2014. Jadeja was promoted to global president when Riot Games cofounders Marc Merrill and Brandon Beck transitioned to co-chair roles in 2017.
“Dylan has been a strong advocate for many of Riot’s boldest choices and biggest bets over the years, and we know that as CEO, he’ll continue to push for what’s best for players and Rioters,” said Merrill and Beck, cofounders of Riot Games. “He leads with both intelligence and empathy, and he’s never been afraid to have the hard conversations that ultimately make Riot better. His high level of integrity, passion for serving players and commitment to Rioters make Dylan the ideal person to lead Riot, and we’re so happy that he’ll be stepping into this role.”
Per the announcement, Laurent and Jadeja will work together closely in the coming months to ensure a smooth transition in leadership. Riot Games expects this process will be completed by Q4 2023. Laurent will remain at Riot in an advisory role, though he confirmed he intends to move home to France. He has been with the publisher for 14 years.
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“This is the right time for me to step back from the day-to-day at Riot and rebalance,” said Laurent. “I’ve been wanting to spend more time on the personal side of my life for a number of years now, and I’m very fortunate to have the strong leadership bench and successor that allows me to make this decision. Being able to write this part of Riot’s story has been an honor, and while this chapter is coming to a close, I’m so proud that we have an amazing leader in Dylan to help us write the many chapters ahead.”
Jadeja’s background and expertise
Jadeja comes from a traditional business background, rather than Laurent’s gaming background. He holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Western Ontario Richard Ivey School of Business and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Before joining Riot Games, he held a VP role with Goldman Sachs.
Over the last six years, Jadeja has played a key role is leading Riot’s strategy. In this time, the company has dramatically expanded its global operations. This includes launching several games and new IP, invested in esports and reached new audiences with Emmy-winning series Arcane. Jadeja is also a longtime supporter of Riot’s social impact and DEI programs.
While Riot ultimately chose an internal candidate, the company hired Egon Zehnder to conduct a multiyear search that explored both internal and external candidates across multiple fields.
“In Dylan, Riot will have a leader who can balance creativity and empathy with business acumen, navigate a complex industry environment and build strong teams that can execute on its mission of being the most player-focused game company in the world,” said Youngme Moon, special advisor to Riot. “Through our search process, it became clear that Dylan had the perfect mix of these strengths to be Riot’s next CEO and lead Riot at scale into a very bright future.”
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