Already a veteran of leadership roles within the company - he started off as chief financial officer and was previously president of Riot - Jadeja will be taking over from longtime CEO Nicolo Laurent. The switchup marks the end of Laurent’s six year tenure as CEO, a period which has seen major success as well as major controversy - with the company launching new games including Wild Rift and multimedia titles such as Netflix’s Arcane, but also seeing allegations of toxic workplace culture and legal action by former employees that have strained relations with the public.
It means that part of the challenge for Jadeja is not just in ensuring confidence from the business side of Riot Games, but also from players and the general public.
In part of his statement to the public, Jadeja also outlined his objectives for Riot Games in the near future. “Over the next few months, my intention is to use this transition window to listen and (re)learn. I want to engage with parts of Riot that I haven’t in some time, particularly on the product side.
“We’ve made a lot of changes in the past few years, and with your help, I’d like to take stock of where we are and get a deeper understanding of what's working and what we can do better. During this period, I’m going to ask for your patience, your willingness to share perspectives, and an openness to new ideas.”
Don’t get tilted
Jadeja’s immediate problem is one not easily solved by any CEO, and that’s rebuilding trust with the most important people for any game company - the players. Addressing not only the more specific issues of toxicity in their games but also showing that the company has changed and is taking issues of workplace culture much more seriously.
However, from a business perspective Riot is in a very strong position with their foothold in both mobile and on PC with arguably the world’s most widely-known MOBA, League of Legends, a game which is about to get a new season of its animated spin-off Arcane. However, the game remains in close competition with mobile mega-hit Honor of Kings, created by parent company Tencent. It’s clear that, while Riot remains at the top, they’ve got no shortage of competitors and will need to work hard to maintain their preeminent position.