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.
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.