The management behind the Entertainment Software Associate–the group behind E3–has gotten a sudden shake-up. Michael Gallagher, who has served as president and CEO, is stepping down after 11 years. The reasons behind the shuffling are unclear, CNET notes.
Stanley Pierre-Louis, the former senior VP and general counsel, will step in as interim CEO in Gallagher’s stead. The group didn’t give a reason behind the change. In a statement, Gallagher praised the organization’s “unbroken string of victories in the states, on Capitol Hill, and before the U.S. Supreme Court.”
“Mike has been an exceptional leader and important voice for the video game industry for more than a decade,” said ESA chairman Robert Altman, in a statement. “Under Mike’s leadership, ESA has developed a strong reputation with policy makers for vigorously defending the industry during watershed moments, including the industry’s victory on First Amendment principles before the U.S. Supreme Court. Mike was also instrumental in revitalizing E3 into the most prominent and important industry show produced today. We want to thank Mike for his many contributions and wish him well as he pursues new opportunities.”
GameSpot has contacted the ESA for comment and will update as more information becomes available.
The ESA has represented the industry’s interests in many high-profile proceedings. Gallagher himself was one of the industry representatives who met with President Trump during a summit on video game violence, following a tragic shooting in Parkland, FL. Under Gallagher’s leadership the company has chimed in on politics that tangentially relate to video games, from criticizing comments that developers found insulting to applauding STEM programs. It also organizes the annual E3 gaming convention, which recently opened its doors to the public.
Most recently, the ESA stepped forward to publicly disagree with a meta-analysis study that concluded video games resulted in increased aggression and fights among school age children between 9 and 19. The study itself cited increased visits to the principal’s office for fights at school among gamers, while the ESA’s rebuttal cited a reduction in violent crime over the same period.