Esports Mogul appoints former Electronic Arts and Disney executive as new CEO

Esports Mogul ASX ESH Electronic Arts Disney Midway CEO Michael Rubinelli
Former Electronic Arts, Midway and Disney executive Michael Rubinelli has joined Esports Mogul as chief executive officer.

Media and software company Esports Mogul (ASX: ESH) has appointed former Disney executive and gaming industry identity Michael Rubinelli to the position of chief executive officer.

Mr Rubinelli has more than 20 years’ experience in executive leadership, product development and revenue growth, and has achieved notable success with large gaming corporations as well as start-up and turnaround environments.

Most recently, he led a team of 80 developers across three studios at video gaming company Kixeye, creating Flash and mobile games, driving traffic and growing the revenue base.

Prior to that he was chief executive of gaming start-up P4RC/Coin In, working with the founder to raise capital while executing a strategic move away from mobile gaming into apps.

Disney leadership

Mr Rubinelli has held senior leadership positions with Electronic Arts which is the second-largest gaming company in the US and Europe by revenue and market capitalisation.

He was also senior vice president (studio operations) at Disney, where he led game-building operations for Facebook and mobile platforms, overseeing 16 studios with more than 300 employees across north and south America.

His achievements during that time included building top 10 Facebook games Marvel: Avengers Alliance and Gardens of Time, which have generated a combined revenue of more than $694 million to date.

Mr Rubinelli also played a key role in the assimilation of Disney’s acquisition of online social network game developer Playdom, where he was previously senior vice president of studio operations.

Other career highlights include the development and execution of new gaming products within franchises such as Mortal Kombat, Star Wars and FIFA, and production and design of the John Madden Football line for Electronic Arts.

Trillion-dollar business

Mr Rubinelli said his Mogul appointment comes at a time when video gaming revenue has the “very real potential” to be a trillion-dollar business over the next 10 years, driven largely by esports.

“Interactive gaming is [currently] the largest entertainment revenue-generating vertical in the world earning more than box office and music sales combined,” he said.

“The chance to continue to be a part of gaming’s meteoric rise in general, and the esports segment specifically, [will allow me] to help deliver best-in-class esports player experiences through the Mogul tournament gaming platform.”

Ideal appointment

Mogul managing director Gernot Abl said Mr Rubinelli’s background in gaming and esports made him the ideal person for the job.

“Global esports is evolving rapidly with new opportunities emerging almost daily,” he said.

“Michael’s deep understanding of gaming and tech combined with his ability to absorb and utilise enormous amounts of information will provide [our] business with terrific leadership … and enable the team to play to our strengths.”

Mr Rubinelli starts his new role this week for an initial four-year term.

His appointment follows this week’s announcement that former Spotify managing director Kate Vale will join the Mogul board, alongside Canva co-founder Cameron Adams and Codex World’s top 50 Innovator Adam Jacoby.

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