Gameloft CEO Michel Guillemot Defiant In Email To Staff, Will Step Down June 29
In an email to all Gameloft's 5,500 employees today (provided to Game Informer by a current employee), CEO Michel Guillemot confirmed he is stepping down from his position. The change of guard will happen on June 29 at the general shareholders meeting.
Vivendi has taken control of Gameloft officially as of June 1. However, until the change in leadership later this month, Guillemot still controls the company.
“Until that change of management, I remain the president and CEO of Gameloft with full authority,” Guillemot writes. “No one else has the right give you instructions! After that change I shall not be in the company. A new management with a new strategy will have taken over.”
The note also indicates that Vivendi’s offer to purchase shares has been reopened until June 15. This will allow those who declined the offer to sell to the new owner now that control is solidified. “Being a minority shareholder of a dependent company is usually not recommended,” he writes. Vivendi controls 61.7 percent of Gameloft shares at the time of writing.
Guillemot also suggests to his staff that there may be significant changes in the company. “There will be from June 29th onwards a a new strategy with the possible integration of Gameloft’s existing activities into Vivendi’s,” he writes. “The information published so far by the new owners show that the changes may be profound, for the creators: ‘convergence between creative industries,’ and for everyone else: ‘pooling of distribution networks.’ It is not my role to say if these changes will be positive or negative for you as it will happen after my watch.”
It's unclear how Vivendi will handle the upcoming Gameloft lineup. In March, the company laid out a detailed game roadmap likely intended to evidence upcoming strength. Titles listed go out as far as first quarter 2018, which is typically much further out than game companies detail. Titles listed include:
- Asphalt 9: Shockwave (Q2 2017)
- Asphalt Extreme (Q2 2016)
- Dungeon Hunter 5 (Q4 2017)
- City Mania (Q3 2016)
- The Dying World (Q4 2016)
- Ganstar New Orleans (Q3 2016)
- Modern Combat Versus (Q4 2016)
- Real Football 2018 (Q1 2018)
- World at Arms 2 (Q4 2016)
Vivendi will now likely set its sights on the Guillemot family’s larger company, Ubisoft. For more on this situation, you can read an extensive explainer that details how hostile takeovers work, the path up until now, and what may lie ahead for Ubisoft. The full email follows.
Click to enlarge.
This confirms earlier rumors that Guillemot was expected to leave Gameloft, though it certainly casts a different light on how. Rather than throw in the towel, Guillemot is hanging on until he is likely to be forced out at the shareholders meeting. As you can see, the email strikes a defiant tone, but also encourages employees to make their own decisions.