GTA 5 Studio President Leaves Rockstar After 15 Years

The Rockstar North veteran had been on a sabbatical for 17 months before officially leaving.

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Leslie Benzies, the president of Grand Theft Auto V developer Rockstar North and fifteen-year veteran of the studio, has left the Scotland-band developer. Rockstar Games confirmed his exit today to Kotaku. According to the site, Benzies had been on a sabbatical for the past 17 months before moving on.

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"We can confirm that Leslie Benzies went on sabbatical on September 1, 2014 and has decided not to return to work for the company," a Rockstar representative said. "We are very grateful for Leslie's contributions to Rockstar over the last 15 years as we worked together to make some amazing games.

"Leslie helped us build an incredible team that will continue to create great experiences for our fans. Leslie will always be a friend to the company and of course we are going to miss him but we wish him the absolute best for the future."

Taking over for Benzies in Rockstar North management roles are 19-year Rockstar veteran Aaron Garbut and Rob Nelson.

Benzies, a Scotland native, has lived in Edinburgh for more than a decade, where Rockstar North has developed every Grand Theft Auto game since Grand Theft Auto III. In 2014, Benzies bought a church in Edinburgh to save it for the community.

In October 2013, just a few weeks after Grand Theft Auto V originally launched, Benzies said Rockstar has "some ideas" for Grand Theft Auto VI.

Benzies, along with Rockstar co-founders Sam and Dan Houser, were inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts & Science's Hall of Fame in 2014.

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