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View Full Version : What are Andrew Sheppard's long-term plans?



Idiosyncrasy
07-22-2015, 10:34 PM
Please don't ban. This is all public information and I'm sure everyone wants to know. It looks like there's just enough drama to keep me checking back here every now and then.

Andrew Sheppard (https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewsheppard), Chief Operating Officer and member of the board of directors at GREE.

Japan’s Gree lays off 30% of Western staff (http://venturebeat.com/2015/07/21/japans-gree-lays-off-staff-in-its-san-francisco-office/)

In a statement regarding the layoffs that took place yesterday, Sheppard said, “Today we made the difficult decision to reduce the workforce of our Gree International Inc. business by 30 percent. This was done to better align operations with our development goals and business strategy. Several teams in San Francisco were impacted — we are working closely with each and every person to ensure the smoothest transition possible. Offices in other locations were not affected.”

Sheppard did not say how many people were laid off, just a percentage. We’re not sure how many work at Gree in San Francisco now. At the end of Gree’s third quarter, on April 28, the company said it had a total of 1,786 employees.

Earlier in the day, some people were saying on social media that two-thirds of the San Francisco office had been hit. On Facebook, several people have confirmed that they’ve been laid off, including community manager Donna Nicholson.

Sorry Donna, and others. I wish you well.


Sheppard previously noted that mobile gaming has changed since Gree rose to prominence about 10 years ago. Sheppard said it used to be that pretty much any developer had a fair shot at creating a hit game. But the industry has grown to become the second largest gaming category in terms of revenue, where development budgets climb for increasing expectations and top developers are spending up to $40 million a month on marketing campaigns. Other large companies such as Kabam are also restructuring to focus solely on its top money-making titles.

Let's examine. Just 5 months ago, he placed other bets.

Gree’s Andrew Sheppard is placing his bets to take original mobile games higher (http://venturebeat.com/2015/02/23/grees-andrew-sheppard-is-placing-his-bets-to-take-original-mobile-games-higher-interview/)


Gree already has some big hits like Knights & Dragons, War of Nations, and Crime City. I interviewed Sheppard recently about his plans for growth, which includes hiring 50 more people this year. Here’s an edited transcript of our conversation.

Hiring more people? Off to a good start.


GamesBeat: Do you have any stated goals, like how many people you want to grow to by the end of the year?

Sheppard: Our aspiration over the next six months is to grow our headcount by 50. Those hires will be concentrated against extending the capabilities of our teams in new directions. 3D is a key growth factor for us. We know we need to go there. We want the quality of our next-generation games to be competitive with console and PC and other platforms.

To put that in context, 50 hires is roughly 15 percent of our total headcount today in the western business. It also encompasses a number of key leadership roles, targeting expansion of marketing activity and evolution of product management capabilities, although we have a strong foundation there.

Well, your aspiration over the next six months is to grow by 15% in the western business, but you just cut your western staff by 30% within five months of saying this.


The revenue scale, the profit scale of this business gives us the luxury of investing in building those teams. Protecting the business is the best way to protect talent and grow talent, and having the patience to win long-term. That gives you the ability to bring people along in a way that I’ve never had a chance to in prior roles. It changes my role a bit, from being chief growth agent in my prior role to being someone who focuses on talent growth.

Okay, I'm not even done reading half of that article, but I'm done with it. This guy is such a hypocrite, and he is leading the company in a terrible direction. I have enough experience running forums to know that I'll probably banned for this thread and it will be deleted, but I couldn't help myself.

Guys, think about the company you're supporting. They don't care about people, and they certainly don't care about the average customer. It's all about profits and profit growth. If you don't fall within their business plan, then you will be removed. No notice. Just gone.

Play the game, don't let the game play you.

Dipstik
07-22-2015, 10:37 PM
I'm going to keep playing. Cutting deadwood can be good for a company.

Jcw9811
07-22-2015, 10:48 PM
Please don't ban. This is all public information and I'm sure everyone wants to know. It looks like there's just enough drama to keep me checking back here every now and then.

Andrew Sheppard (https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewsheppard), Chief Operating Officer and member of the board of directors at GREE.

Japan’s Gree lays off 30% of Western staff (http://venturebeat.com/2015/07/21/japans-gree-lays-off-staff-in-its-san-francisco-office/)


Sorry Donna, and others. I wish you well.



Let's examine. Just 5 months ago, he placed other bets.

Gree’s Andrew Sheppard is placing his bets to take original mobile games higher (http://venturebeat.com/2015/02/23/grees-andrew-sheppard-is-placing-his-bets-to-take-original-mobile-games-higher-interview/)



Hiring more people? Off to a good start.



Well, your aspiration over the next six months is to grow by 15% in the western business, but you just cut your western staff by 30% within five months of saying this.



Okay, I'm not even done reading half of that article, but I'm done with it. This guy is such a hypocrite, and he is leading the company in a terrible direction. I have enough experience running forums to know that I'll probably banned for this thread and it will be deleted, but I couldn't help myself.

Guys, think about the company you're supporting. They don't care about people, and they certainly don't care about the average customer. It's all about profits and profit growth. If you don't fall within their business plan, then you will be removed. No notice. Just gone.

Play the game, don't let the game play you.

Do you really think he was the one that made the decision to cut the 30%. Um no, that was the top of GREE which is based in Japan

Idiosyncrasy
07-22-2015, 11:12 PM
Do you really think he was the one that made the decision to cut the 30%. Um no, that was the top of GREE which is based in Japan

He is the one that released the statement, and he heads up the San Francisco and Vancouver studios. I'm sure he got some pressure from Naoki to improve profits, but Andrew made the decision. Naoki even said, "We are all looking forward to working with him and integrating his vision into GREE’s strategic plans."

You could be right; he could just be a sock puppet. But don't be so quick to dismiss his responsibility, and I won't be so quick to assume he acted wholly on his own accord.

TheJess
07-22-2015, 11:42 PM
OP, your points are well considered. Thank you for sharing this information with the community. It is quite possible that Sheppard played a role in the layoffs, but it is also likely than other people were involved. Undoubtedly, the layoffs occurred because of poor financial performance in the US units. If that is the case, then it is possible that his own job is at risk also.It is a shame that some good people have lost their jobs, which likely is going to have an impact on further development of the game. Player frustration with this certainly is warranted.

cooch
07-23-2015, 12:10 AM
OP, your points are well considered. Thank you for sharing this information with the community. It is quite possible that Sheppard played a role in the layoffs, but it is also likely than other people were involved. Undoubtedly, the layoffs occurred because of poor financial performance in the US units. If that is the case, then it is possible that his own job is at risk also.It is a shame that some good people have lost their jobs, which likely is going to have an impact on further development of the game. Player frustration with this certainly is warranted.

Actually job cuts tend to be the knee jerk reaction of USA execs. Japan in this case approved changes because things didn't turn out the way the former chief, the ex-funzio CEO, promised. A big empire and expansion of Games based on a flawed and limited platform bombed. Stat inflation helped sales reach top 10 status of the old games but the new games except WON never delivered for many reasons.

His old company is going small and laying off as well. He's operating in same play book and telling his industry conferences much the same.

Funzio still most profitable of gree divisions but growth isn't there and let's see how he and his team (he's hired/hiring his boys & girls) deliver growth out of the core games that we play.

Winnson
07-24-2015, 04:47 AM
He is the one that released the statement, and he heads up the San Francisco and Vancouver studios. I'm sure he got some pressure from Naoki to improve profits, but Andrew made the decision. Naoki even said, "We are all looking forward to working with him and integrating his vision into GREE’s strategic plans."

You could be right; he could just be a sock puppet. But don't be so quick to dismiss his responsibility, and I won't be so quick to assume he acted wholly on his own accord.

There is no longer a Vancouver studio. That was chopped in May.
http://www.polygon.com/2015/5/12/8595619/mobile-games-outfit-gree-closes-vancouver-studio

Brendan
07-24-2015, 05:24 AM
Hopefully he'll take a dive off the Golden Gate Bridge. I've heard it's fun.

Vile Lynn
07-28-2015, 10:54 AM
There is no longer a Vancouver studio. That was chopped in May.
http://www.polygon.com/2015/5/12/8595619/mobile-games-outfit-gree-closes-vancouver-studio

Berlin & Melbourne were added in July.

florian999
07-28-2015, 12:01 PM
His plan looks very clear. Reduce the Monthly cost,design game for more profit and hope that the people will stilly buy.

Dipstik
07-28-2015, 01:45 PM
Hopefully he'll take a dive off the Golden Gate Bridge. I've heard it's fun.

Mmmm Kay...

Idiosyncrasy
07-30-2015, 08:53 PM
Looks like the plan was to lay off 120 in SF while at the same time acquiring Twiitch and moving into Australia.

I also found some of Andrew's long term plans. For the next generation of growth, you need three things:

“The ability to build a mass market franchise, with accompanying creative and marketing activity; you need game designers to build excellent gameplay in a marketplace that is increasingly commodized by clones; and you need systems design that delivers a very high life-time value.”

http://techcrunch.com/2015/07/27/amid-30-layoffs-at-gree-intl-gaming-giant-buys-twiitch-opens-offices-in-berlin-and-oz/

1Shot
07-30-2015, 11:54 PM
Please don't name and shame Gree or Gree employees. This forum is for discussing game events, questions about the game, and game mechanics, such as the ones Lupo, mxx, and Big Money used to provide.

Locking this thread. Please stay on topic and respect the rules of the forum.