Thunderful Group appoints four new executives in leadership shift-up

Thunderful Group’s CGO will stay on as an advisor during the transitional period

Thunderful Group appoints four new executives in leadership shift-up

Games development, publishing and distribution group Thunderful has appointed multiple new executives as leadership undergoes a restructure, following Martin Walfisz’s ascension to CEO this August.

Thunderful Group’s new leadership structure includes the appointments of Claire Boissiere, Harriet Hughes, Kathrin Strangfeld and Sue Smith to four key executive positions.

Fantastic four

These four latest appointments at Thunderful are a reflection of the "excellent work" and leadership qualities demonstrated by the new executives, particularly over the past half-year. They also mark a landslide win for women in the games industry.

Boissiere has over 20 years of experience in the games industry from PlayStation to Jumpship, and her promotion at Thunderful moves her from VP of studios to EVP of studios and development. Her task of overseeing of all internal development studios will remain, but she will also now be responsible for game product quality, commercial viability and more.

Hughes, meanwhile, joined Thunderful this June as VP of marketing and has now advanced to EVP of publishing, making her responsible for all sales activity for first-party and third-party game products. She has two decades’ experience in games publishing dating back to origins at EA. Before joining Thunderful, she was CMO at Playstack.

Taking on the role of EVP of operations is Strangfeld, now in charge of identifying, planning and implementing improvements across the group in its strategies and operations. Prior to joining in 2022, she worked as PlayStation’s global senior manager and European lead of corporate strategy and development.

Finally, Smith has been promoted to group vice president of people and culture, bringing nearly 30 years of HR experience to the role. Among her daily duties will be ensuring that Thunderful Group is attractive to - and retentive of - the best talent in the industry.

"With more than a century of experience at the highest level in our new executive leadership structure, we have a group of proven leaders that I'm very much looking forward to working closer with," said Walfisz.

"Claire, Harriet, Kathrin and Sue are highly respected across the industry and will continue the fantastic work they have started at Thunderful as they, alongside the rest of our strong executive management team, navigate future business challenges and opportunities."

Winds of change

Thunderful’s new executive hires come as the group’s chief games officer Agostino Simonetta plans his departure - remaining as an advisor during the transitional period before embarking on new opportunities. He first joined the group in 2021 with games including Steamworld Build, Lego: Bricktales and Viewfinder being launched under his leadership.

"I would also like to thank Ago for his work at Thunderful," Walfisz added. "I’m truly grateful for the unwavering dedication and professionalism that Ago brought to the group. He leaves behind an important legacy and the group will forever be grateful for his contributions. I - as well as the rest of the games industry - can’t wait to hear what he will do next, and I wish him the very best in his future adventure."

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