Riot Games unveils new CEO as Nicolo Laurent steps down

Riot Games CEORiot Games

Riot Games has announced a new CEO, A. Dylan Jadeja, as Nicolo Laurent is set to step down and move to an advisory role.

Riot Games has revealed that the company is promoting A. Dylan Jadeja to CEO as Nicolo Laurent, who has helmed the role since 2017, is moving to an advisory role. The League of Legends and Valorant developer said the transition will take place over the next few months and should be completed by the end of 2023.

Article continues after ad

Jadeja joined Riot in 2011 as its Chief Financial Officer before adding Chief Operating Officer to his duties in 2014. The former Goldman Sachs vice president helped lead the company’s sale to Tencent Holdings in 2015 and became President of Riot Games in 2017.

“After 14 years at Riot and 6 as CEO, later this year I’ll check off something that’s been on my quest log for a while: Stepping away from CEO to focus on family, plan a relocation back to France, and play flex queue with my four kids,” Laurent said on Twitter while announcing the news.

Article continues after ad

Laurent also shared in the Riot Games announcement that he and the company looked inside and outside of the company for the best fit for the position, and the company’s board, advisors, founders and himself unanimously chose Jadeja for the role.

lcs stage as viewership declines with Riot Games logoMelissa Andres/Riot Games

Riot Games appoints Jadeja new CEO

Under Laurent’s leadership, Tencent acquired a majority stake in the company, Riot released more well-received titles, and worked to create the hit Netflix show Arcane.

The company was also hit with a gender discrimination lawsuit that was recently settled for $100 million. In a 2018 Kotaku expose, Riot Games was accused of fostering a culture of sexism that saw management make sexual jokes, send unsolicited pictures of male genitalia and farting on other employees.

Article continues after ad

Laurent was not named as someone in leadership who participated in the alleged discrimination, but a 2021 Wired article said he protected some executives who allegedly participated in the behavior. Laurent was also accused of sexual harassment in 2021 by his former assistant and was cleared by a third-party investigation into the allegations months later. He has denied any wrongdoing in that case.

The allegations against Laurent led to Riot losing one of its global sponsors for its League of Legends esports competitions, according to a report from Dot Esports.

Article continues after ad

Jadeja was also with Riot at the time of the allegations and lawsuit. In his letter to the Riot Games staff about his move to CEO, Jadeja said his goal is for the company to be “unequivocally, the most trusted and authentic game company in the world… built by players, for players.”

Riot Games operates two of the top-tier esports titles globally in League of Legends and Valorant as both titles continue to hold international tournaments that garner thousands of viewers regularly.

Article continues after ad

Related Topics