In a letter to the hobby game community WizKids founder and CEO, Jordan Weisman announced that he was giving up his position as Chief Executive Officer in order 'to do what I do best and what I love the most, which is to create great games.' Weisman is easily one of the hobby game market's top innovators, having created the Collectible Miniatures Game (CMG) and Constructible Strategy Game (CSG) categories, as well as the new, more broad-based, Alternate Reality Game category (see 'Weisman Book in Controversy'). In the recently released ICv2 Retailers Guide to Games, Weisman was ranked as the second most powerful person in the hobby games industry (see 'ICv2 Top 10 Most Powerful People in Hobby Games').
Lax Chandra, most recently Topps Company's Director of Business Development for the Entertainment Division and head of the company's Internet Group, will take over as the new CEO of WizKids.
In another major management move, WizKids has named Joe Hauck, former V.P. of Brand Marketing for Wizards of the Coast, as Executive Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Product Development. Hauck brings ten years of game industry experience, much of it focused on managing the Magic: The Gathering brand. Magic, which essentially created the collectible card game (CCG) category way back in 1993, remains a potent brand, rated the second most popular property in the CCG category in the most recent ICv2 Retailers Guide to Games.
The management changes at WizKids are part of a larger reorganization, which also included laying off some 15 of the company's 65 employees (see 'WizKids Cutting Staff'), and a paring down of releases to concentrate on the company's core brands (see 'WizKids' Cuts Include Race Day').