Management Turnover as Change Agent

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Midway Games Zaps CEO

Midway Games Inc. MWY (NYSE), the struggling video game publisher, appears to have pushed out its CEO, David Zucker. Zucker before joining Midway back in 2003 as its CEO was the president and COO of Playboy Enterprises and prior to that job served in a top position at Walt Disney. The company's press release earlier today only mentioned that an interim CEO, Matthew V. Booty, was appointed. Booty had been the SVP for the company's Worldwide Studios. The company press release made no specific reference to Zucker.
Midway Games Inc. (NYSE: MWY) today announced that Matthew V. Booty has been named Interim Chief Executive Officer and President, and that the company's Board of Directors has commenced a search for a new Chief Executive Officer and President.
"Dynamic new leadership is needed to bring Midway to its full potential," said Shari Redstone, Chair of the Board. "I believe that Midway has the resources and creative capability to once again be competitive with the best in the videogame business. The Board is confident that a new CEO will be selected who can fully utilize the opportunities presented by this next-generation console cycle to renew Midway's position as a major player in the videogame industry."
Midway has been struggling for sometime. Well known for a number of its earlier video hits such as Mortal Combat, Pac Man, Space Invaders and Sea Wolf, the company has not succeeded in developing any recent big hits. Earlier this year the company made a number of other top level management changes including the CFO and Chief Marketing Officer. Back in December, Sheri Redstone, the daughter of Sumner Redstone Viacom's chairman and Midway's largest shareholder was made chair of the company's board of directors.

Midway is in a difficult position as top competitors seem to be acquiring others and putting the squeeze on their smaller competitors. Are the Redstones, particularly Sumner Redstone really prepared to make some dramatic changes in relation to the firm? We will just have to wait and see. Stay tuned and watch moves by Sheri Redstone, the company's chair person of the board and the new interim CEO, Matthew Booty.

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