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Skillset appointments

Giselle Stewart, Neil Thompson and Jamie MacDonald join UK body's Computer Games Skills Council.


Tuesday, January 5, 2009

Skillset has appointed three important new members to its Computer Games Skills Council to help to define the work the Sector Skills Council does in improving skills development for the games industry.

Giselle Stewart is the general manager of Newcastle-based Ubisoft Reflections, the North East arm of the industry giant which made over €1bn last year worldwide. Giselle has been pivotal in developing the current team at Newcastle and has forged strong links with universities offering games courses across the UK.

The second newcomer is Neil Thompson. An industry veteran since 1987, he eventually became studio art director for Sony Liverpool, Evolution and bigBIG studios, overseeing such titles as Motorstorm: Pacific Rift and Wipeout HD. Neil moved to Bizarre Creations (a member of the Activision group of companies and developers of the “Project Gotham” series) in 2009 to take on the role of studio art director.

The final recruit is Jamie MacDonald, the founding director of Sony Computer Entertainment’s London studio in 2001 and Vice President of Sony’s Worldwide Studios, Europe in 2004. Jamie was responsible for introducing major new global franchises EyeToy, SingStar and The Getaway. More recently Jamie has been responsible for the groundbreaking PS3 online service PlayStation Home. He consults and advises widely across the digital media space including start-ups, global media companies and government agencies and provides an invaluable perspective on Skillset’s work in the new media space.

Skillset’s computer games sector manager Saint John Walker said: “Skillset is delighted to have such pro-active additions to our council. There is a new energy towards helping Higher Education to produce better talent and our council has already made inroads here.

“Our council is also keen to start grappling with other skills issues such as management and leadership training, and our three new members will be providing invaluable experience regarding this vital issue.”

The new members of the council join Mark Gerhard, CEO of JAGEX who was appointed in April, 2009, and representatives from Eidos, Frontier, Activision, Blitz, Microsoft, TIGA and ELSPA.


For more information contact

Skillset press and PR officer Nick Sheridan on 020 713 9854 or

Skillset press and PR manager Jennifer Walters on 0207 713 9854 or

Out-of-hours: 07827 989 330.

Notes to Editors:

Skillset is the Sector Skills Council (SSC) for Creative Media which comprises TV, film, radio, interactive media, animation, computer games, facilities, photo imaging and publishing. SSCs are licensed by the UK Government and by Ministers in the devolved administrations to tackle the skills and productivity challenge by sector. They are independent, UK-wide organisations, are employer-led, and actively involve trade unions, professional bodies and other stakeholders in the industry.

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