Midway's CEO exits

Following flaccid fiscal-year results, publisher parts with David Zucker after five-year run; SVP Matthew Booty named interim chief.

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At the beginning of 2007, Midway Games CEO David Zucker painted GameSpot a rosy portrait of the publisher's upcoming calendar year. He lauded a number of projects that were slated to come to fruition, including Wheelman, Touchmaster DS, and Epic Games' Unreal Tournament III.

David Zucker
David Zucker

However, proving the old adage that all that glitters is not gold, Zucker's projections didn't quite pan out according to plan. Although they performed well enough, UTIII and the internally developed Stranglehold both suffered from delays and staggered release schedules that hampered profitability, and in August, Wheelman was bumped to 2008. It also didn't help that Midway Austin's BlackSite: Area 51 and Hour of Victory bombed both critically and commercially.

Earlier this month, Midway reported full-year fiscal results that were lower than already-downsized expectations. However, even those already-disappointing figures weren't entirely accurate, given that the publisher said yesterday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that fiscal-year losses stood at $1.09 per share, as opposed to the $1.07 it initially reported.

Following this revelation, Midway said in succinct fashion today that Zucker is "leaving the company," and that senior vice president of worldwide studios Matthew V. Booty would serve as his interim replacement until a permanent new chief has been decided upon. Booty joined Midway in 1991, and according to the publisher, has held "progressively more responsible positions" since that time.

"Dynamic new leadership is needed to bring Midway to its full potential," said Midway chairwoman Shari Redstone in a statement. "I believe that Midway has the resources and creative capability to once again be competitive with the best in the videogame business. The Board is confident that a new CEO will be selected who can fully utilize the opportunities presented by this next-generation console cycle to renew Midway's position as a major player in the videogame industry."

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