All Change At WotC: New President Arrives From Microsoft As Greg Leeds Resigns
  • All Change At WotC: New President Arrives From Microsoft As Greg Leeds Resigns


    WotC's President, Greg Leeds, has resigned, to be replaced by Microsoft's Chris Cocks. The changeover takes place on June 6th, with Leeds staying on to facilitate a smooth transfer. Greg Leeds has been President of WotC for 8 years, since 2008. Chris Cock's most recent position was Vice President of OEM Technical Sales at Microsoft. The full press release is below.



    Chris Cocks

    Press Release

    PAWTUCKET, R.I.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Hasbro, Inc. today announced that Greg Leeds has resigned as President of Wizards of the Coast, and will be replaced by Chris Cocks who joins the company from Microsoft. Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of Hasbro, offers games and entertainment under world-renowned brands such as MAGIC: THE GATHERING, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, and DUEL MASTERS. Leeds has served as the President of Wizards of the Coast since 2008, and started at Hasbro in 2001. He will stay on to ensure a smooth transition to Cocks, who will officially join the team in Seattle on June 6.

    “We are incredibly thankful to Greg for the tremendous contributions he has made to Hasbro, especially during his time leading Wizards of the Coast,” said John Frascotti, President, Hasbro Brands. “Today, thanks to Greg’s commitment and passion, Wizards of the Coast’s brands are stronger than ever. Though MAGIC: THE GATHERING was introduced more than 20 years ago, it is more relevant and popular today than it’s ever been, with a record number of people around the world playing the game and participating in MAGIC organized play events.”

    Leeds will be replaced by Chris Cocks, who most recently served as Vice President, OEM Technical Sales at Microsoft Corporation, where he led a global sales and technical engagement team. Prior to his eight-year tenure with Microsoft, Chris served as Vice President of Educational Games at LeapFrog, where he led a cross-discipline team to drive hardware planning, software design and development, marketing and channel management. He began his career in brand management at Procter & Gamble and served in product management and marketing leadership positions in Xbox and MSN, including work on hit franchises like Halo and Fable, prior to joining Leapfrog. Cocks is an avid player and fan of Wizards of the Coast brands, including MAGIC: THE GATHERING and DUNGEONS & DRAGONS.

    “We’re very excited to welcome Chris to the Wizards of the Coast family,” said Frascotti. “As an avid fan and player with extensive digital experience, I’m confident Chris is the right person to help us build on the tremendous momentum around our brands and take the franchise to the next level by delivering exciting new experiences to our growing and passionate fan base around the world."

    See the list of ex-WotC employees here.
    Comments 117 Comments
    1. Mistwell's Avatar
      Mistwell -
      Wow. I am going to reserve judgement until I hear more about Chris Cocks. But I sure want to know what caused Greg Leeds to resign.
    1. darjr's Avatar
      darjr -
      Might be computer services related.
    1. TwoSix -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mistwell View Post
      Wow. I am going to reserve judgement until I hear more about Chris Cocks. But I sure want to know what caused Greg Leeds to resign.
      Might just be near retirement age. LinkedIn shows him as a Marketing Director at Proctor&Gamble back in '85. Assuming he was in his early to mid 30s for a director position, that would put him certainly in his 60s now.
    1. The Grassy Gnoll's Avatar
      The Grassy Gnoll -
      Sounds like a desire to move into more online/video routes.
    1. Raunalyn's Avatar
      Raunalyn -
      Yeah, this looks promising for those who want an increased digital presence from WoTC.
    1. Nickolaidas's Avatar
      Nickolaidas -
      Heh ... Chris Cocks. Hahah!

      ... what?

      Don't give me that look. You all thought the same thing.
    1. pming's Avatar
      pming -
      Hiya!

      I agree with @The Grassy Gnoll ...digital stuff.

      I'm not sure how I feel about this, but my gut reaction is "Well, at least I have a PHB, DMG and MM". As he was 'obviously' hired because of his digital forte, to me, that tells me Hasbro wants to head down that road. Which means that it is going to be even more increasingly unlikely they will be getting any money from me. I was actually kind of excited about being able to spend my cash on *actual D&D* stuff. That is something I hadn't done at all during the 3e & 4e era...or, roughly, for the last 16 years.

      If my reservations are confirmed...well, looks like I'll be waiting another 8 years until D&D 6th Edition "hits the shelves" (if I'm not too busy fighting off the hoards of ravenous dead because of the zombie-apocalypse thing that will probably be going on then...I'm sure I'll have time for D&D though...so...fingers crossed for 6th Ed! ).

      PS: Although...digital mini-RPG's of childrens cartoons/shows would be pretty sweet... My Little Pony, Backyardigans, Toopie & Binoo (yeah, not all Hasbro...but still...).

      ^_^

      Paul L. Ming
    1. Sacrosanct's Avatar
      Sacrosanct -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mistwell View Post
      Wow. I am going to reserve judgement until I hear more about Chris Cocks. But I sure want to know what caused Greg Leeds to resign.
      He joined in 2008, so obviously he's a 4e fan and doesn't like 5e


      I kid, I kid!
    1. innerdude's Avatar
      innerdude -
      This is unequivocally a response by Hasbro to answer the question, "How the heck do we figure this whole 'digital thing' out to monetize our brands?"
    1. Z. H. Darkstar's Avatar
      Z. H. Darkstar -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nickolaidas View Post
      Heh ... Chris Cocks. Hahah!

      ... what?

      Don't give me that look. You all thought the same thing.
      He certainly looks like a Cocks... :P

      But in all seriousness, this is probably a good move for the future of the company. Perhaps we'll finally start seeing official digital tools for 5e.
    1. Sqn Cdr Flashheart's Avatar
      Sqn Cdr Flashheart -
      Changing jobs after eight years is hardly surprising. It is a loooooooooooooong time to be in one role. IMO this is nothing but one person finishing and another replacing him. And Chris is a gamer and has experience in multi-media types, all what WotC wants/needs. Good luck to him and good luck to Greg in his future endeavours/deserved retirement!
    1. Toriel -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nickolaidas View Post
      Heh ... Chris Cocks. Hahah!

      ... what?

      Don't give me that look. You all thought the same thing.
      Not cool. You can be sure he's heard them all. Especially in high school. No need to add to it. You might want to read the other post on the front page about harassment.
    1. ddaley's Avatar
      ddaley -
      Does this mean we'll have to subscribe to xbox live gold and be always online in order to play D&D?
    1. Jester David's Avatar
      Jester David -
      Hrm...

      I was never a fan of Leeds. He was, after all, a Hasbro Suit. Former manager of the "Boys Toys" division there. He never seemed to have a passion for Magic or D&D, and was there as a businessman. And his interviews with ICv2 were some of the most bland talking point interviews I've ever read: he had his script and didn't deviate.

      But, the devil you know, right?

      It's easy to look at the new guy and see the technology background and imagine he's there to make WotC more digital. Of course, he has a sales and marketing background so he may not have technical skills any more than a pharmaceutical rep would have a background in toxicology and chemical engineering. He's another suit.
      Still, he probably has a better idea of how to manage technology, and as a marketing man he knows how to sell. And while MtG and D&D are doing well, their marketing has been... lackluster at best. A lot of targeting existing audiences and letting the fanbase and stores manage growth.

      What does stand out is:
      ... Cocks is an avid player and fan of Wizards of the Coast brands, including MAGIC: THE GATHERING and DUNGEONS & DRAGONS.

      “We’re very excited to welcome Chris to the Wizards of the Coast family,” said Frascotti. “As an avid fan and player...
      So unlike Leeds, he's actually played D&D and MtG in a non-business capacity. Which is exciting.
    1. ChrisCarlson's Avatar
      ChrisCarlson -
      DOOM AND GLOOM, gentlemen! DOOM AND GLOOM!!!!
    1. darjr's Avatar
      darjr -
      I have to go back to the old trope. D&D the game is a drop in the bucket for Hasbro and WotC.

      So this may not mean very much at all for D&D.

      But then again a bull can break a lot of China with little effort, it may mean a lot.
    1. Shasarak's Avatar
      Shasarak -
      Quote Originally Posted by pming View Post
      I'm not sure how I feel about this, but my gut reaction is "Well, at least I have a PHB, DMG and MM". As he was 'obviously' hired because of his digital forte, to me, that tells me Hasbro wants to head down that road. Which means that it is going to be even more increasingly unlikely they will be getting any money from me. I was actually kind of excited about being able to spend my cash on *actual D&D* stuff. That is something I hadn't done at all during the 3e & 4e era...or, roughly, for the last 16 years.
      Man, I would love to spend cash on *actual DnD* stuff. Maybe Chris is the guy that can make this happen?
    1. Tectuktitlay's Avatar
      Tectuktitlay -
      Hmm. Interesting. I suspect the people saying Leeds is probably just retiring after a long tenure, and finally reaching roughly retirement age with a slew of successful gigs, are exactly right. And hiring Cocks seems to me like a two-for-one. Not only is this likely a response to the digital presence of D&D, this might very well be there to help WotC get a larger digital presence for MtG to go more head-to-head against Hearthstone.

      Hopefully this means good things. Digital really is the future, as much as the old grognards, among others, might try to fight it. I love digital copies of books to peruse on the go, in addition to digital character builders, virtual tabletops, etc.

      Honestly, I am still in awe at the lack of foresight Hasbro shows with regards to the on-demand book market. Yes, they are a bit more expensive. But...Hasbro sells large quantities of coloring books, plus the RPGs and whatnot. They are the perfect kind of company to take the lead in taking on demand books to the next level, with their inherent advantage due to economies of scale, and deep market penetration already in place. Investing in the technology to drive prices down and snap up large parts of the on-demand market in general. Then, people could just order their RPG books either straight from the source, or, preferably, through FLGSs with WotC accounts that can cut out the middle men distributors like Diamond, Alliance, GTS, et al. To build up local gaming communities from the ground up with tailor made orders of everything to meet each individual store's needs, without having to over or under-print any single product.

      But yeah, the fact that Cocks also plays D&D and MtG is potentially a very good sign.

      I agree, this hopefully portends a strong digital presence in the relatively near future for Dungeons & Dragons, and Magic the Gathering.
    1. Kramodlog's Avatar
      Kramodlog -
      A lot of comments focusing on D&D and computers, but how is MtG going these days? Are sales dropping?MtG is WotC's most important brand.
    1. Tectuktitlay's Avatar
      Tectuktitlay -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shasarak View Post
      Man, I would love to spend cash on *actual DnD* stuff. Maybe Chris is the guy that can make this happen?
      Yeah, lol. This. People complain about wanting physical books, which is fine. But I would spend SO much more on D&D products if WotC offered fairly priced digital books, like pretty much every other company in the entire freaking world is now doing. Physical products for things can be nice, but I really want and need digital copies.

      We purged enormous amounts of our physical books of all types a couple years ago, and now have huge digital libraries instead. And man, I have to say. Not having to move five-and-a-half tons of paper every time we move is amaaaaaaaaazing. Having all of my RPG books on my 13" tablet-laptop, on my PC, and the most important ones on my smartphone, so basically permanently at my fingertips at all times, is the best thing ever.

      Without any shame, I regularly peruse DriveThruRPG and snag everything that is Pay What You Want, then repurchase it for money if I enjoy it enough to keep it. I have no problem jumping on every Kickstarter for things like Numenara and the like, and snagging just the every-PDF option, every time. For dramatically less money, I have so many more RPG options now, it's mind-boggling.
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