SAN JOSE, CA — Jim DeRose has exited Global VR after three years as president and chief executive officer, and almost as long as chairman. A short letter by DeRose said his resignation, effective May 30, was “in the best interests of the company,” but offered no specific reason for his decision.
GVR’s board named executive vice-president of operations Ken Bayer new president. Patrick Imeson, managing director of Black Diamond Financial Group, GVR’s financial backer, assumes chairman responsibilities.
The outgoing chief joined the company in April 2005, succeeding GVR founder and original president Milind Bharvirkar. DeRose said he was proud to have led the videogame company to a position of industry leadership by building a strong management team and business infrastructure, as reflected by the releases of games such as EA Sports Nascar Racing and the Blazing Angels flight simulator.
Bayer has served as vice-president of operations since 1999, coming to the company with 15 years' prior experience in high-technology management. Since that time, he has overseen the engineering and manufacturing of almost 30 products. He said the company "will continue to deliver outstanding products for players and provide excellent financial returns for operators and distributors."
Imeson, a longtime GVR board member, said, "We are confident that the company will continue to deliver on its promise of high-quality games and that it is uniquely poised to leverage its talent and relationships to further the company's business interests."
DeRose is the third high-ranking U.S. videogame manufacturing executive to leave a company this year. President Rick Rochetti exited Sega Amusements USA early this year after four years in the post; former Namco America president Kevin Hayes, who stepped down from that post last year to focus on his responsibilities leading Namco Cybertainment, exited Namco in March after more than 20 years with the
PHOTO: Jim DeRose resigned as Global VR’s chief executive on May 30. During his three-year tenure, the videogame maker grew almost three times its size since he was installed in the top executive post.
Prior to joining GVR, DeRose served as president for videogame maker Acclaim, as well as PDI/Dreamworks, Mattel USA and the Hanes Division of Sara Lee Corp. He often reminded operators that he got his first coin-op experience by driving a vending delivery truck many years ago.
In other news, Global VR is releasing Need For Speed Carbon in mid-June. The kit will upgrade earlier versions in the Need For Speed video driving series. Carbon adds new graphics in urban and drift racing settings. Customizable cars include tuners, American muscle and exotics. Players can build a personal career by mastering all car types and earning up to 40 "specialty cars" that can be used in any game mode and stored in personal garages. The first Need for Speed was released in October 2003; GT and Underground followed.