The Entertainment Software Association, the United States-based video game organization that lobbies for the industry with lawmakers and also runs E3 every year, has announced new leadership. Stanley Pierre-Louis, who had been serving as interim CEO following the departure of former president and CEO Michael Gallagher, is taking over effective immediately. The timing of the news is noteworthy, as it comes just a day after Variety published an explosive story that detailed what is said to be rampant disarray within the ESA.
Pierre-Louis joined the ESA in 2015 as general counsel. Before the ESA, he was senior vice president and associate general counsel for intellectual property at Viacom where he worked on brands like Nickelodeon, MTV, and Paramount Pictures. He also worked for the recording Industry Association of America.
Stanley Pierre-Louis, an industry executive with more than two decades of entertainment experience, will be the Entertainment Software Association’s (ESA) new President and CEO.
— The ESA (@theESA) May 13, 2019
“I look forward to leading the ESA and advocating for the industry with a strong voice and clear vision,” Pierre-Louis said in a statement. “The future of our industry is bright and limitless. Video games are a part of the fabric of American culture and a cornerstone of entertainment.”
The bombshell Variety report cited numerous current and past ESA employees who described the organization as a “toxic environment rife with internal politics, witch hunts, and in-fighting.” Regarding the claims against Gallagher, it is alleged in the story that he was “very difficult to work with.” Some said he was “manipulative, moody, and sometimes nasty,” and at times sent “vicious, belittling emails to employees.”
Gallagher left the ESA in October 2018. At the time, the situation surrounding his exit was unclear, but Variety’s story claims members of the ESA board–including Xbox boss Phil Spencer–visited the ESA’s HQ in Washington D.C. to hold meetings with employees to discuss Gallagher’s management style and behavior. Gallagher ultimately resigned, while Variety’s report said “some believe he was forced to leave the association.” Gallagher denied all claims against him.
Variety’s story contains numerous other details about the goings-on at the ESA, including a claim that ReedPop, the group that runs the PAX events and Star Wars Celebration and owns various gaming media sites, made an offer to take over E3, but it never happened. Read the full story at Variety.
E3 2019 runs June 11-13 in Los Angeles. We’re expecting a lot of big news and reveals, including a new console from Microsoft. Check out the video embedded above to see a rundown of what we know so far about the E3 2019 press conferences.