Paizo Pathfinder Publisher Paizo Has A New President

Jim Butler is now president of Paizo, after Jeff Alvarez steps down on health grounds. Alvarez was promoted to president when CEO Lisa Stevens stepped aside from daily operations in June 2020. Jim Butler was previously VP of Marketing & Licensing.


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Jeff Alvarez has stepped down as president due to health reasons. Paizo has named Vice President of Marketing and Licensing, Jim Butler, as its new president.

“I have had the pleasure of working closely with Jim from his days at TSR through his time working on Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition at Wizards of the Coast, and now working with me at Paizo,” Paizo CEO Lisa Stevens said. Jim is a hardworking visionary whose almost three decades of game experience makes him the perfect person to guide Paizo into its third decade.”

“I’m grateful for the trust that Lisa and the Leadership Team have placed in me to lead Paizo,” Jim Butler said. “I look forward to working with my fellow employees to lead the company into the next era of tabletop excellence.”

Jim brings decades of gaming experience to his new role, including serving as Paizo’s vice president of marketing and licensing over the last five years. Before Paizo, he has worked at TSR, Wizards of the Coast, Warner Bros./Turbine, and Trion Worlds.

“I started my gaming career as an editor and game designer, switching over to marketing and brand management when Peter Adkison wanted ‘gamers with business degrees’ running Dungeons & Dragons,” Jim said. “It’s been an epic adventure so far, and I’m excited that a new chapter has begun.”

Jim lives in Redmond, WA with his husband, Matthew, and their fur-kids: Toker, Stella, and Skylar. He’s currently playing through volume 5 of the Pathfinder Return of the Runelords Adventure Path as a kobold druid and GMing the Extinction Curse Adventure Path for Pathfinder Second Edition.
 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey





Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I remember him being kind to me at a Gen Con in the early 2000s when I was shy and new. He was on the Bastion Press booth, and as I approached it he said "Hello Russ". I was literally speechless that anybody knew who I was. I probably came across as mumbling idiot to him, but I never forgot that. I'm sure he has forgotten it, though!
 

JThursby

Adventurer
I remember him being kind to me at a Gen Con in the early 2000s when I was shy and new. He was on the Bastion Press booth, and as I approached it he said "Hello Russ". I was literally speechless that anybody knew who I was. I probably came across as mumbling idiot to him, but I never forgot that. I'm sure he has forgotten it, though!
What a charming anecdote. I've never met the guy but it sounds like he has the right experience and attitude. And having Lisa Stevens' seal of approval gives me confidence that the games and brands I like from Paizo are going to continue rolling; I can't ever imagine someone who doesn't believe in Pathfinder being given such a recommendation from her.
 

kenmarable

Adventurer
I remember him being kind to me at a Gen Con in the early 2000s when I was shy and new. He was on the Bastion Press booth, and as I approached it he said "Hello Russ". I was literally speechless that anybody knew who I was. I probably came across as mumbling idiot to him, but I never forgot that. I'm sure he has forgotten it, though!
I remember working with him back in those early years first when he was running WotC's Official Fan Site program (I co-ran the Planescape one) and then doing lots of freelance for Bastion Press over the years. He is a really great guy from my experiences, and I definitely learned a ton about this industry working with him! Even years later, after doing the awkward tracking him down on LinkedIn, he was happy to give me a recommendation for a writing gig I was applying for.

Personally, I have only had great experiences with him over the years, and definitely when I worked with him back then, he was both full of great ideas and willing to listen to and lift up others. Some of the best freelancing experiences I've had were working for Bastion Press.

Definitely makes me even more interested in getting back into Pathfinder and giving Starfinder a try with him at the helm now!
 



kenmarable

Adventurer
Loved his Oathbound setting. Ran two campaigns there. Hope to return one day.
Awesome setting! Although quick note to give credit where credit is due: Greg Dent and Todd Morasch were the main creative force behind that setting. But Jim definitely added to it as well and was the business mind that published a successful product line out of it and one of the only novels for a 3pp D&D setting, I think.
 

Jaeger

That someone better
Is it me, or is the announcement rather cold towards Jeff Alvarez?

This is standard corporate speak. Alvarez may very well have legit health concerns. But also they may be rather mild, and in the current year 'for health reasons' may be the new 'seeking new opportunities'... Impossible to know.


Honestly, the President title seems rather hollow at Pazio considering the info in the original announcement for Alvarez:
Publisher and Chief Creative Officer Erik Mona has long been the architect of Paizo’s creative efforts. He will continue to make the final decisions about what Paizo publishes and when.

So the company president can't overrule the Chief Creative Officer? Whut!?

I certainly would not want to be president of a company where what you really have is a power share agreement. I can see someone getting frustrated with that over time, and wanting out.

As the president of a company the buck stops with you. You are the pubic face that is going to get the blame if things go sideways. Not that the Chief Creative Officer should not be listened to. Absolutely they should. But if I am the one on the hook, I want access to all the tools in the toolbox to help me succeed. I would be unwilling to walk into a situation as the supposed 'president' of a company where I didn't have ultimate control over one of the most important part of the business that affects the bottom line...

Especially considering that the whole union situation over there is still a big unknown as to how exactly it will play out over time.
 


Nikosandros

Golden Procrastinator
This is standard corporate speak. Alvarez may very well have legit health concerns. But also they may be rather mild, and in the current year 'for health reasons' may be the new 'seeking new opportunities'... Impossible to know.
That's reasonable. I was more thinking about the fact that Jeff wasn't thanked at all. I was under the impression that it is customary to do so, even if an employee is terminated.
 

I always liked Jim Butler -- he started the Official "Other Worlds" Fansite program at WotC, which is still going strong to this day: the Vaults of Pandius Official Mystara site, the Beyond the Moons Official Spelljammer Fansite, Dragonlance Nexus Official Fansite, and others.

His own Oathbound campaign setting was a standout in the early d20 era.
 
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steeldrac

Explorer
Health issues could be: I get a headache when dealing with some of the administrative work or something more serious. Hopefully is nothing too serious and after some rest we will see him popping elsewhere.
 

Voadam

Legend
Awesome setting! Although quick note to give credit where credit is due: Greg Dent and Todd Morasch were the main creative force behind that setting. But Jim definitely added to it as well and was the business mind that published a successful product line out of it and one of the only novels for a 3pp D&D setting, I think.
I had wished the Oathbound novel line had continued. But there were a few other 3pp D&D novels too.

Golarion, which started out as a 3.5 OGL D&D setting has a few novels for it as well. ;)

During the 2e era there was the Mayfair Games Seed of Darkness novel for their Demons line of AD&D supplements.

Scarred Lands (White Wolf's SSS imprint d20 fantasy setting) also had a novel trilogy and some anthologies.

I think Privateer Press had some for their Iron Kingdoms setting too.
 

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