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Keywords Studios CEO Andrew Day retires

Long-standing executive took a leave of absence due to health reasons back in March

The CEO of one of the industry's biggest service empires is stepping down.

Keywords Studios announced Andrew Day would be taking a temporary leave of absence due to health reasons when it revealed its full-year financial results back in March.

However, Day has now taken the decision to "bring forward a longer term retirement plan," according to a company statement.

He has stepped down from his roles as both CEO and a director of the Board with immediate effect, although he will remain on the board for six months in an advisory capacity to help with the transition.

The Keywords board is now searching for a replacement. In the meantime, Jon Hauck and Sonia Sedler will continue as joint interim CEOs.

"I am deeply proud of the business that we have built together," said Day.

"It has been a huge honour to lead the wonderful Keywordians around the world. Whilst my recent health scare has brought about a reassessment of my priorities and brought forward a retirement that I was otherwise looking forward to in the coming few years, I am pleased to be leaving the Group in such a strong position to continue to deliver on its proven strategy."

Keywords Studios chairman Ross Graham added: "Whilst we are sad to see Andrew go, we fully support his decision to bring his retirement plans forward and wish him a very happy retirement.

"Over the 12 years since taking over the reins from the founders in 2009, Andrew has led the building of Keywords into the 'go-to' global video games services platform it is today.

"It is a tribute to his leadership that he leaves the Group in great shape with a strong and broad leadership team that is well equipped to both drive the company's strategy forward and enhance its operational performance.

"On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank him for his incredible commitment and contribution to the Group over the last 12 years."

When Day took over Keywords, it was a privately held company with just one localisation and testing studio in Ireland and a staff of around 50 people.

Today, Keywords Studios is a publicly-traded international group, with 69 studios and over 9,000 employees across 22 countries.

Much of this growth has been driven by an aggressive acquisitions strategy, which kicked off in 2014 with the purchases of voice production firm Liquid Violent, localisation specialists Babel Media and Binari Sonori, and art services firm Lakshya Digital.

In total, the company has acquired well over 50 companies, including seven in 2020 for a total consideration of up to €97.2 million.

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