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Coach Schilling Makes a CEO Change

Posted by Scott Kirsner  August 21, 2009 03:05 PM

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maclean.jpgInteresting news today from the Maynard, MA headquarters of 38 Studios, Curt Schilling's massively-multiplayer games company. CEO Brett Close, whom Schilling recruited from Electronic Arts to run the company, is out, and Jennifer MacLean, the former head of business development, is replacing him as CEO. MacLean used to run the games business for Comcast, and is the chair emeritus of the International Game Developers Association.

Here's the official press release. The key quote from Coach Schilling, who has been the primary funder of the business thus far:

    "As the new chief executive, Jen will continue the journey in delivering on our vision of creating new entertainment experiences. Brett's leadership over the last three years has well-positioned 38 Studios for the next phase of the company's development. The entire 38 Studios team wishes Brett much success in all his future endeavors."

What do you think happened here? Did Schilling push or did Close jump?

Here's what Schilling told me last month about recruiting Close to join the company:

    It took me about six months. Brett is very methodical. People told me, Its gonna be hard as hell to get him to come, but once he makes the commitment, hes there for life. I know the first part is true and I hope the second part is true, too.

Here's my column on 38 Studios, noting their need for more money, from last month. There was no sign then, at least that I could discern, that Close's days were numbered.

Update: the company's PR rep e-mailed to "clarify that Brett Close resigned from 38 Studios to pursue other opportunities outside the company."

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About Scott Kirsner

Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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