Riot Games is an American video game developer, publisher and eSports tournament organizer based in Los Angeles. It was founded in September 2006 by Brandon Beck and Marc Merrill to develop ‘League of Legends’ and went on to develop several spin-off games and the first-person shooter game ‘Valorant.’
In 2011, Riot Games was acquired by Chinese conglomerate Tencent. Riot Games’ publishing arm, Riot Forge, oversees the production of League of Legends spin-offs by other developers. The company partnered with Fortiche to publish Arcane, a television series based on the ‘League of Legends’ universe.
Riot Games operates 12 international League of Legends esports leagues, the ‘League of Legends World Championship’ and the ‘Valorant Champions Tour’. The company, which had 20 offices worldwide as of 2023, sells corporate sponsorships, merchandise and streaming rights for its leagues.
On the other side of the coin, the gaming company recently faced allegations and lawsuits alleging a harmful work culture, including gender discrimination and sexual harassment. The company has been criticized for using compulsory arbitration in response to these charges.
The venture has now appointed Dylan Jadeja as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). He will succeed Nicolo Laurent, who has spent the past 14 years in leadership roles at Riot.
Who is Dylan Jadeja?
- Indian-origin Dylan Jadeja was raised in Ontario, Canada
- He completed his Bachelor of Arts in Business from University of Western Ontario – Richard Ivey School of Business in 2004 and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School in 2008
- After completing his master’s, Dylan Jadeja began his career with Kearney Management Consulting
- In 2011, he joined Riot Games as Chief Financial Officer and added Chief Operating Officer to his duties in 2014
- In 2018, Dylan Jadeja was named the President of Riot and in 2022 assumed leadership of Riot’s Executive Suite and Enterprise
- While working in Riot, he also served as an advisor to several companies in tech and consumer products
- In 2015, Dylan Jadeja was appointed as a member of the Boards of the Los Angeles Food Bank and Intentional Sports
- Before joining Riot, he was co-head of West Coast Consumer Retail Coverage for Goldman Sachs
- In Goldman Sachs, he led highly successful transactions including Lululemon’s 2007 IPO and the 2010 sale of retailer Gymboree
- According to Forbes, Dylan Jadeja’s annual net worth is USD 30 million Dollars, as of January 2023
Challenges Ahead For Dylan Jadeja
Nicolo Laurent’s six-year tenure as CEO saw both great successes and controversies for Riot Games. While the company launched games like Wild Rift and multimedia titles like Netflix’s Arcane, it faced accusations of having a toxic workplace culture and legal action by former employees has strained the gaming company’s brand value further.
In part of his statement to the public, Dylan Jadeja 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,” the newly-appointed CEO commented.
“We have made a lot of changes in the past few years, and with your help, I would 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 am going to ask for your patience, your willingness to share perspectives, and an openness to new ideas,” Dylan Jadeja remarked further.
Don’t Get Tilted
Dylan Jadeja’s immediate problem is the one that no CEO can easily solve, and that is restoring trust in the most important people for any gaming company – the gamers. In doing so, they will not only address the issues of toxicity in their games, but also show the market that the company is reforming itself.
From a business perspective, Riot is in a very strong position, having gained a foothold both on mobile and on PC with arguably the most well-known MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) in the world, 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 parent company Tencent’s mobile mega-hit Honor of Kings. It is clear that while Riot remains at the top, the company is not short of competitors and will have to work hard to maintain its prominent position.