Take-Two CEO resigns, chairman taking over

Ben Feder exits for extended family vacation; Strauss Zelnick stepping in, Karl Slatoff named COO.

This past January saw a shake-up of the board of Take-Two Interactive, the parent company of publishing labels Rockstar Games (Red Dead Redemption, Grand Theft Auto IV) and 2K Games (Borderlands, Civilization V). At the request of activist investor Carl Icahn and other stockholders, who hold a 14 percent stake in Take-Two, CEO Ben Feder and two others left the board to make room for stockholder-chosen candidates.

Take-Two chairman and soon-to-be-CEO Strauss Zelnick.

Now, Feder is leaving Take-Two altogether. This morning, the company announced that the executive is stepping down "in order to pursue plans to travel in Asia with his family for an extended period." He remains a partner in ZelnickMedia, the company that took over the top ranks of Take-Two in a shareholder coup in March 2007.

ZelnickMedia's head is Strauss Zelnick, who also serves as chairman of Take-Two's board. As of January 1, he will step into Feder's shoes as CEO, with a newly created COO position being filled by executive vice president Karl Slatoff. Slatoff is also a member of ZelnickMedia.

Though Feder and Zelnick both issued statements underlining the company's strong post-Red Dead Redemption finances, the former's tenure was not exactly a smooth ride. Perhaps the biggest event of Feder's stint was a 2008 bid by Electronic Arts to take over Take-Two, a move company management fought vociferously. The deal, which would have seen EA pay more than double Take-Two's current $10.40 share price, fell through in September of that year.

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32 comments
saintgeorge71
saintgeorge71

And that's how the Jews took over another great company."stepping down in order to pursue plans to travel in Asia with his family for an extended period"Yea, right.

saintgeorge71
saintgeorge71

"Extended family vacation?"This is crap, and you know it.The Jews took over the company with force, like they did with each business that brings cash.

Fz1994
Fz1994

poor dudes...its how life is . act like superman and try to stop a moving car , then you get stepped on cuz your no superman

acer_062
acer_062

@hannify You got that one right ... on the money!!!

angelcar
angelcar

I want the freaking company to start making me some bold moves and blow up like I know they can. Few companies out there have such an amazing repertoire of games and yet fall short on fully capitalizing! Make me some money, TTWO!

Ychi
Ychi

Not good. This guy staved off the EA monster. Not one time have I seen too much consolidation of power/economics be a good thing for the consumer. How does it go again? "Absolute power corrupts absolutely" For a brief moment EA looks like the lesser of evils vs ActivisionBlizzard. It was only a short while ago when EA was the big evil. All comes down to consolidation and balance of power. Its easy to sit back and say who cares but this all matters. These devil deal makers are at the top of the food chain and they have a huge impact on our industry. Just look how much our entire industry has shifted because of these people and their shareholder machinations.   Ultimately they are doing what everyone else is doing in the business world, very short term goals for max profits. Burn down the houses that people live in - no problem! As long as it makes them a fast buck.

MrHatnClogs
MrHatnClogs

So this how people get treated for having some balls to say F-off?

Pete5506
Pete5506

thats nice, now lets here about the next GTA

sykopat99
sykopat99

Release RDR for PC allready...

harry_daniel200
harry_daniel200

guys..........where is the biggie????-- "v"........where is GTA V

bigcrusha
bigcrusha

Extended family vacation? Maybe Jack Thompson is secretly paying Ben Feder's travel agent lol

blakeney
blakeney

If i could pass on one tip to the new CEO it would be this. Do NOT tamper with R* in ANY way, shape or form!!!

OJ_the_LION
OJ_the_LION

I am against anything that Icahn wants, as Icahn has a history of completely ruining any company he comes into contact with. What he does is good for shareholders, and *only* for shareholders, not for the long term of the business or the customers.

maitkarro
maitkarro

@Stressthesky I think if he used normal one, then it would be too offensive. :d

Stressthesky
Stressthesky

"vociferously" Normal words too mainstream for you, Gamespot?

nevryn
nevryn

@azureblade89 Actually you should care if you play any Take-two games because of the influence of Ichan and business oriented (rather than gamer oriented) stockholders. Ichan is pretty well known in the business world to be satan. He makes Kotick look like a poorly trained puppy. He forces his way on to shareholder boards, more or less takes control of them, makes as much money as possible, then runs them into the ground. With this group in power, expect a move to more economically profitable games. In other words, cheaper to make, faster to produce, arbitrary firm release dates (even if the game is unfinished), etc. Now if you don't play take-two games, then you shouldn't care at all.

metalkid9
metalkid9

I could care less. Give me some of that money and maybe I would.

ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

These CEO's don't stay in power more than a couple of years these days. There are too many shifts in customer needs and wants in the game industry for these executives to keep up with. the shareholders practically run the companies, not the CEO's

supernova777
supernova777

Carl Icahn is the 24 richest american and 59 on earth according to the wikiapedia. "At the request of activist investor Carl Icahn and other stockholders, who hold a 14 percent stake in Take-Two, CEO Ben Feder and two others left the board to make room for stockholder-chosen candidates" when he make a "request" things happen.

MJ12-Conspiracy
MJ12-Conspiracy

Change in CEO is pretty standard anymore, what worries me is the fact that the real decisions look to be made by the shareholders. It kinda explains a lot of things.....

azureblade89
azureblade89

Unless this new guy's a total douche (*cough* Activision *cough*) this really isn't even news..I mean for the average consumer; who cares?

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

@Jim60360 poor guy just wants a break but he cant even get that without being called names (Ben Feder starts crying :( ) by the way its Feder not Fender (no 'n') so it kind of doesn't work.

wwlettsome
wwlettsome

I'm sure Bobby Kotick would love to come and ruin the GTA and Red Dead franchises...

Jim60360
Jim60360

Ben Fender! HA! I bet all his mates call him Bender!

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

@LondonGamer986 oh i see, sorry i thought you said they have announced the next GTA, ow that teaches me not to get my hopes up :( but yeah i agree they should announce it, i cant wait until they do.

BlackBaldwin
BlackBaldwin

I don't really care much about whoses Ceo truthfully but wow wouldn't of been horrible if EA actually did manage to buy Take Two in 08? The demographic of gaming would've shifted a ton if that would've happened. I'm so happy that it didn't and I hope it never will.

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

@LondonGamer986 what really? have u got a link, i love GTA :)

LondonGamer986
LondonGamer986

Couldn't care less. Just announce the Next GTA!!!!!!!!

Virkhus
Virkhus

@saintgeorge71 They take over and now Borderlands 2 has 30+ dlc, for a total cost of $165. Not suprising.