Sega's Mike Hayes steps down

US and European CEO to leave this summer; Jurgen Post to take head role in Europe

Sega's European and US CEO Mike Hayes is to leave the company later this year, with Euro duties being handed to Jurgen Post, current chief operating officer of the region. Update: Sega has clarified that in the US, "Masanao Maeda has been the COO for a number of years already and that has not changed," so Post and Maeda will oversee the respective territories.

Hayes joined Sega in 2004 and was involved in the acquisitions of Sports Interactive and The Creative Assembly as well as shifting the publisher into digital markets.

"Mike has achieved a huge amount during his time at Sega and we thank him for the amazing things he has accomplished," said Naoya Tsurumi, president and representative director of Sega.

"Mike is a great character and very passionate about the industry, he helped steer the extraordinary growth of Sega and has built an exceptional team of professionals that will stand us in good stead for the future."

Hayes will take on exec and non-exec roles in and around the industry whilst remaining in an advisory role with the Sonic publisher.

Related stories

Sega Europe promotes John Clark, Tim Heaton

Executive vice president roles see Clark take greater role in publishing as Creative Assembly studio director Heaton gains wider influence

By Brendan Sinclair

"Sega had a plan, to quietly become a powerhouse in PC publishing"

Relic Entertainment's Justin Dowdeswell on regaining stability after THQ's collapse, and the imminent launch of Dawn of War III

By Matthew Handrahan

Latest comments (14)

Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 5 years ago
Sega have one of the biggest collections of quality heritage IP in the global game industry.
Converting this into ongoing profits is problematic, especially in the age of high budget blockbusters and of the transition to digital distribution.
Sega's gaming business would be a fantastic acquisition for someone like Zynga.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Nick Parker Consultant 5 years ago
Mike is a thoroughly decent and honourable man so a shame to see him leave Sega. I have been fortunate to work with him at Nintendo and also I worked with his successor Jurgen Post at SCEE in the early days of PS and he is another sound manager.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D5 years ago
Come on Bruce. Can you stop responding to every single story on SEGA by saying they'd be a good acquisition for Zynga? You can take it as read that we all know you think this;)
2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Show all comments (14)
Nik Love-Gittins Senior Character Artist, FreeStyleGames5 years ago
Zynga and Sega operate in completely different circles as far as games go. I don't see how they would be a good acquisition.
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 5 years ago
Zynga has 292 million monthly active users (and the number is growing). So of course they could do with IP to keep them entertained.

Also Sega's problem has been multiyear losses. The current restructuring, for instance, is costing 54 million. Maybe Zynga's hard headed attitude to monetising their products would have helped prevent this.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Sega + Zynga = syntax error.

Lets not tell Sega how to suck eggs. They have great IP and are enjoying challenging global headwinds. Trying to steer a multi national games division is difficult enough in itself, and it isnt straightforward to get it right all the time.

social monetization is not for everyone, but for the right products it can certainly be appealing
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Matthew Hill Head of Recruitment, Specialmove5 years ago
It's not always been easy but overall Mike's leadership of SEGA has been positive for SEGA and especially UK development. I think Mike's leaving SEGA at the right time and will enjoy the fresh challenges that lie ahead. SEGA moving forward is likely to be a smaller and very different company.

Re Zynga... The most they (or a similar co) would consider is licensing SEGA's brands. They don't need the vast majority of it's staff.

Any licensing arrangement would probably be unworkable given the tight level of control SEGA Japan retains over it's brands - it simply wouldn't work in a live service environment. Furthermore it's far cheaper and effective for Zynga to launch it's own IP - particularly as not all SEGA IP may work in a Free-to-play game.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Or....take a leaf form Zyngas rule book and copy-plagarize-clone it ad infinitum :)
2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Yannick Boucher Project Manager, Crytek5 years ago
By the way, I wouldn't bet on a non-Japanese takeover of Sega anytime soon. Don't forget who they're joined at the hip with: Sammy. And there are certainly a few strings attached to that (do a little research if you must... ).
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
John Jennings Senior Producer, Machinegames5 years ago
Mike Hayes did a great job as marketing director at Codemasters. Really turned things around there.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Seems that the consumer trade and media has had a problem getting their head round the structure and responsibility of the SEGA operation.

Retained under the SEGASammy Group, the restructuring after the appalling revenue numbers from last month will see more changes in the way the company approaches business - but will also see a greater investment in profit centers that have generated funds where the conventional software divisions have lost it.

I would look to the growth in revenue from pachslot, amusement and public-space investment in the home market. But also the rumors of the total restructuring of all of the satellite divisions of the company - Hayes departure is the first of many!
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 5 years ago
Thanks Kevin.
It looks like the Japanese management have finally acted to staunch massive losses. The 54 million they have set aside as the cost of doing so gives some idea about how extensive the operation will be. Already large numbers of Western Sega staff have lost their jobs, expect many more to follow.

Basically the Japanese have finally become fed up of throwing good money after bad. Maybe they will give up all or nearly all of their boxed game operation.

Games like Thor: God of Thunder (Metacritic 39), Altered Beast (Metacritic 40), Iron Man 2 (Metacritic 41), Stormrise (Metacritic 42) and The Incredible Hulk (Metacritic 33) + very many more are no way to publish in an age where the blockbuster is king.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Thank you Bruce, been a long time since we have spoken in person.
Funny how my sector of out-of-home entertainment is now appearing in the mix of consumer gaming business.

Just to clarify - the SEGA Sammy merger nearly did not happen, there was a period where Namco was in the frame - along with Microsoft! What a world that would have been.

The SEGA Sammy Group are incredibly unhappy by how badly their international sales and marketing teams have let them down regarding developed product - and a failure to utilize a massive IP library of strong titles. Questions have been asked about the management skills of the US and UK teams and a question on direction that has led to major restructuring (Mr. Hayes is the first of a considerable root-and-branch purge)[as Bruce alluded too].

I would also point other armchair pundits to look at Bandai Namco Games - and how they are also undertaking major restructuring based on what is a general feeling in some Japanese boardrooms of miss management of their satellite divisions by poorly skilled executives!

Now we await the French report on Atari Games to close-the-circle.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 5 years ago
Sega needs a core gamer with business sense and a love for what's possible with their IP's in charge, not a new bean counter only concerned about numbers and copying others' successes into the future as a sole business model. Time needs to be spent looking at ALL platforms and figuring out what works best while appealing to Sega's past, present and future fans.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.