SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- GREE (http://corp.gree.net/), a global mobile social company, today announced the appointment of Andrew Sheppard as Chief Executive Officer of GREE International Entertainment (GIE). Based out of San Francisco and formerly known as GREE International Inc., GREE International Entertainment will focus on creating games that reflect a broader view of the gaming entertainment landscape. As part of this update, Ryotaro Shima has been appointed Chief Operating Officer and Naoki Aoyagi will serve as advisor. GIE will continue to manage current games Modern War and Knights & Dragons, and will focus on building brand new IP gaming experiences that will be announced later this year.
"We are on the cusp of a major transformation, and there's no better candidate to lead GREE International Entertainment than Andrew Sheppard," said Yoshikazu Tanaka, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GREE, Inc. "Sheppard is a battle-tested leader with the right vision, deep mobile experience, and a commitment to excellence that's needed to get the job done. These qualities are just what GIE needs as we shift our focus to become a dominant force in the interactive entertainment landscape."
Prior to joining GREE in August 2014, Sheppard spent five years working at Kabam, where he helped build and scale what was a 30-person startup in Mountain View, California to what is today a global leader in free-to-play mobile games. His earlier experience includes playing a lead role in hi5 Networks' move from social network to social game distribution platform, helping launch the publishing business at Outspark, and pioneering online and free-to-play strategy at Electronic Arts. In total, Sheppard has $2 billion in F2P revenue experience across 60 PC, web, and mobile games.
"It's an honor and a privilege to be appointed CEO at such an exciting time when the company is transforming from a mobile games company to a major player in the larger interactive entertainment landscape," said Andrew Sheppard, Chief Executive Officer, GREE International Entertainment. "I couldn't be more confident in the unique and innovative roadmap that we've created to help take us to the next level, and look forward to leading our teams to many great successes along the way."
Previously, Shima served as the CEO of GREE UK in London and Senior Vice President of Corporate Operations at GREE headquarters in Tokyo with responsibility for finance, accounting, legal, investor relations and corporate planning. Prior to joining GREE in 2011, Shima spent eight years in finance working at The Carlyle Group and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. His expertise lies in hands-on international management with a strong finance and operational background. Shima earned an MBA at Stanford Graduate School of Business in 2008.
About GREE, Inc.
Based in San Francisco, GREE International Entertainment (GIE) is the Western arm of GREE, Inc.: a global mobile social company with businesses that include social gaming, social media, advertising, licensing and merchandising, and venture capital. Established in December 2004, GREE created the world's first mobile social game in 2007, and today is a global leader in free-to-play, reaching audiences around the world with its portfolio of first-party and partner titles. GREE has studios in Tokyo, San Francisco, Berlin and Melbourne and is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (3632).
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