Tech Moves

Wizards of the Coast faucets former Microsoft and Amazon chief Cynthia Williams as president

New Wizards of the Coast president Cynthia Williams. (Hasbro Image)

Hasbro announced on Thursday morning that it has appointed Cynthia W. Williams as the new president of its Wizards of the Coast and Digital Gaming division.

Williams will assume her new office at Wizards, headquartered in Renton, Wash., on Feb. 21. She moves over from Microsoft, where she has been a GM and vice president in various areas within its Xbox division since 2018. Previously, Williams spent 11 years in Amazon’s finance and fulfillment departments and more than 12 years at Richmond, Va.-based tobacco company Altria.

Williams will succeed Wizards’ current president and COO, Chris Cocks, who is slated to become the new CEO of Hasbro on Feb. 25.

Hasbro simultaneously announced that it hired Tim Fields as the new general manager of Digital Gaming. Fields was previously the CEO of the Vancouver, B.C.-based Kabam Games, a mobile games publisher that handles multiple hit titles including Marvel Contest of Champions. He was also previously a director, designer, and executive producer at Capcom Vancouver, Certain Affinity, Electronic Arts, and Microsoft.

Chris Cocks, former president of Wizards of the Coast, poses with Mitzy, a dragon on display in the gaming company’s Renton, Wash., headquarters building. (GeekWire File Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

“I am extremely proud of our team and the great successes we’ve had across our Wizards of the Coast and digital gaming business over the last five years, and also of the IP we’ve created to attract top talent in our space,” Cocks said in a press release.

“As I transition into my new role as CEO of Hasbro later this month, I am excited to partner with Cynthia and Tim, working together to expand our fan base, deliver across the Brand Blueprint and activate our significant investments in the business to become the world’s leading fantasy-inspired gaming publisher on all platforms.”

Cocks added that Williams has been hired for a “deep understanding of technology and e-commerce, along with cloud and console-based gaming.” Fields, similarly, offers “unmatched production experience and a demonstrated ability to accelerate the growth of brands in mobile gaming.”

Through that lens, both Williams and Fields can be seen to represent continued investment by Wizards and Hasbro in growing its efforts in the video game space, both on mobile and console.

Hasbro purchased Wizards of the Coast for $325 million in 1999, which put it into a portfolio of brands that includes My Little Pony, Transformers, G.I. Joe, Power Rangers, Nerf, and the Monopoly and Twister board games.

Last year, Wizards’ Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering showed record revenue at the same time as Hasbro’s other divisions posted slight losses owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hasbro subsequently reorganized itself into three new departments, including Wizards & Digital, which oversees D&D, Magic, and other gaming-focused brands.

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