Team17 hires ex-Codemasters CEO Sagnier as chair

Wakefield-based Team17 Group, the developer of video games and educational entertainment apps, announced that its non-executive chair Chris Bell has decided to step down from his role at the end of the year to focus on his other business interests.

Bell has worked at Team17 Group since its IPO in 2018.

Team17 said gaming sector veteran Frank Sagnier, the former Codemasters CEO, has been appointed non-executive chair designate and will formally join the company on September 6, 2023.

“Chris will continue in his role until 31 December 2023, working with Frank to facilitate an orderly handover,” said Team17.

“Frank will officially assume the role of chair from 1 January 2024 upon Chris’ departure.

Frank brings over 25 years of gaming sector experience to the board, having held plc, private equity and senior roles with Codemasters, Electronic Arts, Acclaim Entertainment, Double Fusion, and Funcom.

“Frank began his career in advertising at Grey before moving to marketing roles at Warner Bros. Entertainment and Acclaim Entertainment.

“In 1999, he joined Electronic Arts (EA), where he was responsible for marketing and third-party game development and publishing across Europe.

In 2014, Frank was appointed CEO of Codemasters.

“During his tenure he led the transformation and restructuring of the business, building one of the most iconic racing games development studios and publishers of the F1 racing brand, before leading the company’s successful IPO in 2018.

“Codemasters was later acquired by EA in 2021, in a deal worth $1.2bn.

Frank will chair the Nomination Committee and be a member of the Audit and Remuneration Committees.”

Team17 CEO Debbie Bestwick said: “I would like to personally thank Chris for his exceptional support and guidance to myself and the board throughout his time as chair, during which he presided over a period of significant financial and operational growth.

“We wish Chris all the very best in the future.

“I extend a very warm welcome to Frank.

“Frank is one of the most respected gaming executives globally in video games, his knowledge is second to none, but equally his leadership and experience in the gaming world will bring huge value to the board as we prepare for the next stage.

“I have known Frank for a number of years and have always been impressed by his passion for gaming, creators and knowledge of our sector.

“Frank also brings strong M&A experience that the group will benefit from. Frank’s appointment significantly strengthens the board’s gaming pedigree.”

Sagnier said: “I have long admired how Debbie has built Team17 through her drive, determination, deep understanding of all aspects of the business and her unique ability to discover and nurture talent.

“Debbie has created significant shareholder value over three decades.

“In the last few years, she has built a strong leadership team to scale the company behind the Team17’s proven business model. 

“I am delighted Debbie will remain on the board.

“I am looking forward to working with Steve, Mark, the exec team and the board to further build on Team17’s exceptional foundations, to ensure the group continues to achieve its strategic ambitions; delivering exceptional games for players and solid returns for shareholders.”