ESA boss confirms departure

Doug Lowenstein's mass e-mail to industry contacts and colleagues details departure; calls leaving "difficult and sad."

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Entertainment Software Association president Doug Lowenstein sent a mass missive to more than 50 of what he called "my friends and colleagues in the video game industry" today confirming news of his decision to pursue a career outside the game industry.

In the e-mail, he says, "I am leaving my position as President of the ESA to assume a new job launching a start-up trade group in the investment industry." He says he will update the industry with more specific information later in the week. Lowenstein pinpointed late February or early March as his new start date, presumably concurrent with his official resignation from his post at the ESA.

While he calls leaving the ESA "difficult and sad," he added, "I have a strong sense of loyalty to the industry which entrusted me with the responsibility of representing them, and to the incredibly talented team which has accomplished so much at ESA." He says, "Today, [the] ESA is stronger than it has ever been."

In the official ESA statement, ESA chairman and president of Microsoft's Entertainment & Devices Division, Robbie Bach, had these words for Lowenstein: "As the founding president of this organization, Doug built ESA into a very effective and influential trade association fully and articulately representing the interests of our members. He leaves behind a tremendous record of accomplishments which provides us with the foundation for continued growth and success. We wish him well in his new role."

Lowenstein called his 12-year tenure with the trade organization that represents the major game publishers in North America "an amazing journey of personal and professional discovery, growth and accomplishment."

While a search to replace Lowenstein is stated to be ongoing, industry sources say Bach will assume the primary responsibilities of the ESA president for the time being.

[UPDATE] Shortly after the ESA's statement crossed the wires this morning, Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) president Bo Andersen checked in with his comments on the transition. Anderson praised Lowenstein, saying he had done "a tremendous job creating ESA from scratch and building it into a positive and influential institution in the video game industry," and that "our industry owes him a great 'thank you' for his leadership."

The EMA was born of an April 2006 merger of the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) and the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association (IEMA) and lays claim to "advancing the interests of the $32 billion home entertainment industry."

Discussion

25 comments
technixps3
technixps3

Oh well, he'll be replaced. Life goes on.

Cloud737
Cloud737

Well, I wish him luck in his new role, and hope the gaming industry won`t be affected too much by this.

smbius
smbius

That's too bad. Alot of kids here won't really give a crap...that is until their beloved Grand Theft Auto needs to be protected by government hands. Anyway, the ESA owns and operates the E3 Media & Business Summit. I mostly care because they offered a grant to one of the organizations I participated in called SAVE (Students Against Violence Everywhere). Yeah...I know that's a lame acronym.

cjcr_alexandru
cjcr_alexandru

Too bad... I hope that the new president will be as good as Lowenstein.

nintendorocks
nintendorocks

Woah. That's a shocker. Lowenstein had a good run. We'll miss him.

YukoAsho
YukoAsho

Hopefully they'll just make Bach the full-time president. He's got a great business acumen, and working with Microsoft, I'm sure he's used to dealing with government pressure. He'd be the perfect successor to Lowenstein.

Greydawg
Greydawg

I think it's hard to say what this really means to gamers. I mean, there are HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of gamers out there, can one man really be that important, especially one worth so much money, leaving the industry to make more money elsewhere?

ConManWithGun
ConManWithGun

now all thats left is for them to bring back e3

LarkAnderson
LarkAnderson moderator staff

Doug was a champion for defending gaming from the likes of shoddy so-called Crusaders like Jack Thompson. He will be sorely missed.

kevo14
kevo14

Don't know who is but don't think it will matter. Signed: Ignorant Gamer #17633 lol

GFofgaming
GFofgaming

He made all the worst changes and now he is calling the quits. Bring back e3!

wrect
wrect

I'm sure that this change in ESA leadership will have no effect whatsoever on the state of anti-gaming legislation. Signed: Ignorant Gamer #17632

comthitnuong
comthitnuong

its a sad time...he did alot for games. or at least i think that was him

Re_ensurer
Re_ensurer

I didn't know him, but I'm sure he was of some importance. :D

hmsmichaelot
hmsmichaelot

thats a damn shame. I admired him too. "Founding president." What an important person to any gamer.

Doolum
Doolum

he can go.i wont miss him.

FilthyYamBag
FilthyYamBag

theres money in them thar investments he's probably leaving for better career opportunities

ShadoweaverCode
ShadoweaverCode

Suyomizzle - Are you serious? You held this guy as a role model? Any president of a company is most likely folliowing the advice of a counsil, or at the very least a financial advisor. I don't think it would be too complex to follow an already established (there are literally millions of books on this subject) rate of growth for a company. Its more or less like a proven formula. All the president is responsible for is maintaining his team and making sure everyone is doing a good job. I would expect that of any president of any company.

Suyomizzle_
Suyomizzle_

I'm absolutely furious. I held Doug as a hero and role model, and to see that he is turning his back on protecting what he loves, probably because it's seeming like it will be a tough road ahead, is cowardly. Despite all that, this is truly a great loss for the gaming industry, and I hope a man or woman as upstanding as I thought Doug Lowenstein to be takes up the mantel and protects the rights of gamers everywhere.

darfvader
darfvader

The main question: how will this affect us the gamers?