WotC WotC Has A New President

With outgoing president Chris Cocks being promoted to the top job at Hasbro, WotC has a chief -- Microsoft's Cynthia Williams! Williams is joined by Tim Fields as Senior Vice President.

Over at Microsoft, Williams was General Manager and Vice President, Gaming Ecosystem Commercial Team and was heavily involved in Xbox growth. Fields was CEO of mobile gaming studio Kabam Games.

Cynthia_Williams_Photo.jpg


Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) today announced that Cynthia W. Williams has been appointed President of its Wizards of the Coast and Digital Gaming division and that Tim Fields has been appointed Senior Vice President and General Manager of Digital Gaming, both effective February 21, 2022.

Ms. Williams joins Hasbro from Microsoft, where she most recently served as General Manager and Vice President, Gaming Ecosystem Commercial Team, and most notably drove the expansion of Xbox Gaming and the acceleration of game-creator growth. Prior to joining Microsoft, Ms. Williams spent more than a decade at Amazon, where she led the global growth of their e-commerce direct-to-consumer business Fulfillment by Amazon.

Mr. Fields joins Hasbro from Kabam Games, one of the most successful mobile gaming studios in North America, where he served as CEO for the past five years. Under his leadership, Kabam developed and operated numerous AAA games, including Marvel Contest of Champions, Disney Mirrorverse, Fast and Furious and Transformers: Forged to Fight. A 26-year veteran of the video game industry, Tim has held a range of leadership positions at major publishers, including Capcom, Microsoft and Electronic Arts.

Chris Cocks, current President and Chief Operating Officer of Hasbro’s Wizards of the Coast and Digital Gaming division, said: “We are extremely pleased to welcome Cynthia and Tim to the Hasbro family. They join at an exciting and dynamic time, and Wizards of the Coast – as well as all of Hasbro – will greatly benefit from their skills and experiences. Cynthia brings a deep understanding of technology and e-commerce, along with cloud and console-based gaming. She has a proven track record, across both Microsoft and Amazon, of scaling businesses to drive profitable growth. Her experience is highly complementary to Tim’s, who brings to Wizards unmatched production experience and a demonstrated ability to accelerate the growth of brands in mobile gaming.”

“I am extremely proud of our team and the great successes we’ve had across our Wizards of the Coast and digital gaming business over the last five years, and also of the IP we’ve created to attract top talent in our space,” Mr. Cocks continued. “As I transition into my new role as CEO of Hasbro later this month, I am excited to partner with Cynthia and Tim, working together to expand our fan base, deliver across the Brand Blueprint and activate our significant investments in the business to become the world’s leading fantasy-inspired gaming publisher on all platforms.”

Ms. Williams said: “Joining the team whose passion and imagination created such iconic games as MAGIC: THE GATHERING and DUNGEONS & DRAGONS is a dream come true. With best-in-class developers, designers and producers, the opportunities at Wizards of the Coast for creative storytelling and innovative game play are limitless. I look forward to working with Chris, Tim, Hasbro and the entire Wizards of the Coast team to build on their incredible momentum and deliver exciting new experiences for our fans globally."

Ms. Williams will succeed Mr. Cocks, who will assume the role of CEO of Hasbro on February 25, 2022. As the head of Wizards of the Coast and Digital Gaming, Ms. Williams will lead the strategy for two of the biggest names in gaming, MAGIC: THE GATHERING and DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, while driving continued global growth for the division and leading new fan and story-led tabletop and digital experiences. She will build and expand on the outstanding foundation laid by Mr. Cocks, under whose leadership Wizards of the Coast doubled its revenue from 2018 to 2021.

Mr. Fields said: “As a lifelong gamer who has been playing DUNGEONS & DRAGONS and MAGIC: THE GATHERING since I was a child, I am thrilled to be joining the Wizards and Hasbro family to develop the next generation of AAA digital games. Working alongside such a talented team and under Cynthia’s leadership, I look forward to bringing the love of these brands to millions more players around the world.”

Mr. Fields will report to Ms. Williams. As Senior Vice President and General Manager of Digital Gaming, he will be responsible for all digital gaming, including internal and external development of Wizards’ growing portfolio of story-led projects.
 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

And honestly, Microsoft is not a place that rewards complacency or mediocrity: if she reached a high level there, I'm sure she has the acumen to do the business side of things. If she is a gamer, great, if not, who cares?

Like, do model train enthusiasts worry if their preferred supplier has accountants and lawyers who also make model trains...?
Most model train manufacturers don't expect double digit revenue growth every year, but big money companies like Hasbro do. There's a real danger that revenue minded executives will make choices that alienate fans in the long run just to bring in more money in the short term, it has happened many times. Hopefully the new WotC boss is aware of this and will let D&D grow organically and be happy to collect the big bucks over time.
 

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Parmandur

Book-Friend
Most model train manufacturers don't expect double digit revenue growth every year, but big money companies like Hasbro do. There's a real danger that revenue minded executives will make choices that alienate fans in the long run just to bring in more money in the short term, it has happened many times. Hopefully the new WotC boss is aware of this and will let D&D grow organically and be happy to collect the big bucks over time.
I don't know if I believe model train manufacturers aren't pursuing double digit annual revenue growth: don't see why they wouldn't, people turn 7 every year, or retire (I have seen people take up model trains on both ends, and I'm not even into them myself!).

AS far as change goes, considering that Cocks is moving to Hasbro CEO and got to select his successor, I expect not much in the way of change. Acceleration of prior trends, maybe.
 

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I don't know if I believe model train manufacturers aren't pursuing double digit annual revenue growth: don't see why they wouldn't, people turn 7 every year, or retire (I have seen people take up model trains on both ends, and I'm not even into them myself!).

AS far as change goes, considering that Cocks is moving to Hasbro CEO and got to select his successor, I expect not much in the way of change. Acceleration of prior trends, maybe.

Yeah I suspect both were chosen to continue Chris Cock's vision for WotC, I'm not sure what new spin they might put on things.

Still it's interesting that he decided not to promote from within.
 


She seems to be about as much of a gamer as Cocks (running digital games companies but no tabletop RPG background), so there is no a priori reason to think you'd see a big change relative to the last few years. Of course she is a different person so there really is no way to tell what will happen.

Her last name is an unfortunate coincidence, but not relevant I think.

Frankly I doubt most heavy-tabletop people have the big-company background, and most big-company people have the heavy-tabletop background, that everyone here is secretly dreaming of. 'Gary Gygax with Warren Buffett's business skills' probably doesn't exist. And the split between suits and creatives is a chronic problem in most creative industries.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
She seems to be about as much of a gamer as Cocks (running digital games companies but no tabletop RPG background), so there is no a priori reason to think you'd see a big change relative to the last few years. Of course she is a different person so there really is no way to tell what will happen.

Her last name is an unfortunate coincidence, but not relevant I think.

Frankly I doubt most heavy-tabletop people have the big-company background, and most big-company people have the heavy-tabletop background, that everyone here is secretly dreaming of. 'Gary Gygax with Warren Buffett's business skills' probably doesn't exist. And the split between suits and creatives is a chronic problem in most creative industries.
Well, Cocks did play D&D and Magic the Gathering extensively as a teenager. He had phased out of gaming, and got some flack of the toxic variety for being insufficiently hardcore, but it was a pretty remarkable shift from prior Hasbro executives at WotC that he had grown up with the product. We don't know either way about Williams personal gaming background, but it doesn't really matter either.
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
TRUE fans like us;

REAL gamers!

Mod Note:
This site, that you say, in fine, gatekeeping fashion, is for "TRUE Fans" and "REAL gamers", holds to the idea that true fans and real gamers are... just people who play games. And that's it. We at EN World do not support any OneTrueWay, nor do we try to gatekeep who is a "real" fan, and who is not. Given that this site was founded on following news of WotC's D&D, your message here is truly ironic.

So, really, how about you not do this? Thanks.
 





Alzrius

The EN World kitten
Sorry mate, but how is that relevant to her skill that she brings from Microsoft to WotC?
You don't think it's worth noting that WotC's new president is someone who spent twelve years pushing a product that's known to be a chemically-addictive carcinogen that kills hundreds of thousands of people every year?

We've had thread after thread about offensive materials in older products recently; this seems like it's worth at least a sidebar.
 

Gnosistika

Mildly Ascorbic
You don't think it's worth noting that WotC's new president is someone who spent twelve years pushing a product that's known to be a chemically-addictive carcinogen that kills hundreds of thousands of people every year?

We've had thread after thread about offensive materials in older products recently; this seems like it's worth at least a sidebar.
I read into the comment something different. My wife have two phds and a masters. Every time she's in a meeting and she challenges the male status quo similar comments about her work experience gets thrown at her.

And no I don't think it is relevant - smoking is a choice.
 


GreyLord

Legend
We all have to find work somewhere. Sometimes the best paying job or best fit is not exactly what we would want to do.

I would note that she changed jobs later. Her most recent and relevant experience is not at the cigarette companies.
 

Yeah I suspect both were chosen to continue Chris Cock's vision for WotC, I'm not sure what new spin they might put on things.

Still it's interesting that he decided not to promote from within.
Well, to what degree does someone in a position like hers really have in terms of creative input? It is one thing to run a business, from a purely operational standpoint, and quite another to LEAD and be a creative visionary. If management knows how to NOT get in those people's ways (at least until they leave the real world, lol) that's cool.

Of course, as always, D&D is only one smaller part of the whole WotC equation, so while it may be that her background is related to WotC D&D plans, it is also likely AT LEAST as much related to other products.

I do however feel that the most successful companies mostly promote from within and rarely want or need to go outside for leadership. It is a sign you aren't fully developing the potential of your people if none of them can handle the top jobs. And if you need "a whole new vision", what does THAT say about your business?
 

GreyLord

Legend
Well, to what degree does someone in a position like hers really have in terms of creative input? It is one thing to run a business, from a purely operational standpoint, and quite another to LEAD and be a creative visionary. If management knows how to NOT get in those people's ways (at least until they leave the real world, lol) that's cool.

Of course, as always, D&D is only one smaller part of the whole WotC equation, so while it may be that her background is related to WotC D&D plans, it is also likely AT LEAST as much related to other products.

I do however feel that the most successful companies mostly promote from within and rarely want or need to go outside for leadership. It is a sign you aren't fully developing the potential of your people if none of them can handle the top jobs. And if you need "a whole new vision", what does THAT say about your business?

Well, WotC has become incredibly successful under Chris. It would stand to reason that his ideas on recruiting leadership could be very useful in continuing that trend. She has the right talent and right skill set to push that forward.
 

Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
Interesting that this is the second president in a row coming from Microsoft.

Very late to this thread, but it's not that surprising...

  • Both companies are headquartered in Redmond (that's right, not just Seattle, the smaller business town next to Seattle).
  • Both are heavily involved in gaming (video games for Microsoft, but still).
  • The old president was hugely successful, so there's some precedent that the skills are transferrable.

Those three points combined kind of make it not just an easy option, but arguably the best one for WotC's perspective.
 

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