ALL THE LATEST NEWS ABOUT THE BUSINESS OF PC GAMES

Feature

Here is who is working on Google's Stadia streaming platform

Here is who is working on Google's Stadia streaming platform

After years of rumours and hiring, Google finally announced its Stadia streaming platform at GDC last month.

The keynote event focused primarily on the technology side of things, an impressive-sounding combination of Google tech that is great in theory but could well suffer in real-world conditions.

Missing from the announcement were details about what business model Stadia will be using, how developers would be compensated and even, erm, how consumers would actually buy games. Pressed in interviews at GDC about these concerns, Google reps simply said they couldn't talk about these topics at that time. The company is going to be talking about Stadia again in June - but seemingly not at E3.

So we've decided to take a look at just who is working on Stadia. Following the GDC keynote, a number of employees changed their LinkedIn info to show that they were working on the tech. We're gone through department-by-department to see what staff is working on this interesting new tech.

This is by no means a comprehensive list - searching 'Stadia' and sorting by LinkedIn members who work at Google and Google Stadia yields 223 results. If there's anyone big missing, be sure to let me know. 

So, read on to see who is working on Google's big games play.


Click here to view the list »
  • 1 The Top Bods

    The Top Bods  logo

    Phil Harrison, VP Google Stadia

    For the keynote event at GDC, Phil Harrison was very much the face of Google Stadia.

    The exec led the San Francisco presentation, likely brought on board by the tech and search giant for his long history in the games industry. Harrison has in fact worked in games for over 30 years, launching a graphic design services firm called ESD back in 1986. he joined Sony Computer Entertainment's American branch as VP third-party research and development and worked with the PlayStation firm for until 2008, heading up the firm's Worldwide Studios. He then joined Xbox UK as corporate vice president in 2012, leaving in 2015.

    During his time, he has launched several games platforms including the original PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3 and Xbox One. While there are some true highs in list, there are also several lows that we're sure Harrison would like to forget.

    We're sure Harrison is hoping there's much more PlayStation 2 in Stadia than Xbox One.

     

    Jade Raymond - VP and head of Stadia Games and Entertainment

    Raymond's hire as a Google vice president was announced in March 2019, with the keynote event revealing that the industry vet was heading up the Big G's first-party studio Stadia Games and Entertainment.

    Building studios is something Raymond is something of a specialist in, having founded and headed up Ubisoft's Toronto studio between 2009 and 2014. During this time she grew the developer to a 350-strong outfit. Creating IP is also been a focus of Raymond's career; during her time at Ubisoft Montreal between 2004 and 2009 she led the creation of franchises such as Assassin's Creed and Watch Dog.

    It was for this valuable skill set that Raymond was hired by EA in July 2015 as SVP and Group GM for not only EA Motive and Popcap Studios, but also the entire Star Wars portfolio.

    John Justice, VP and head of product

    A relatively recent hire to Google, VP and head of product John Justice has spent the bulk of his career at Microsoft.

    The astonishingly-named exec spent almost 15 years at the Big M, ultimately ending up as the GM of the sales, marketing and supply chain engineering team, changing how the company shipped and sold its products.

    Justice's time at Microsoft also included streaming and cloud tech, with the vet working on Azure as well as Xbox game streaming to Android.

    As a result he brings an understanding of how to marketing and sell a product, as well as ensuring there's a smooth retail channel experience - something that Google will need. Though the firm has shipped hardware before, including phones, tablets, laptops and various home devices, selling games and hardware - well, its controller -


    Rick Osterloh, SVP devices and services

    Rick Osterloh has spent most of his career in the tech industry, starting out at Amazon back in 1999. His CV since includes stints Motorola, Skype and ultimately Google. He initially joined the search giant in 2012 as SVP product management looking after Motorola, leaving to join that company back in November 2014 when it was spun out of Google. He then rejoined the search giant in April 2016 as SVP of devices and services, meaning he was looking after phones, laptops and home devices.

    Now, he'll be managing Stadia, too.


    Mike Foley, CFO Stadia, AR/VR and wearables

    Money man Mike Foley been working around the tech business since 2005 when he joined Microsoft as director of corporate development. That role saw Foley looking after M&A activity and investments. From there he moved to a similar role at EA as SVP strategy and corporate development, a role he held for just over six years.

    In 2015 he was hired by middleware specialist Unity Technologies as chief financial officer, helping the company earn close to $800m in primary and secondary capital.

    Google snapped Foley up in January 2019 where he now serves as head of finance for the firm's Stadia, AR/VR and wearable tech. While we imagine Foley won't be required to do much in the way of fundraising at the Big G, it's likely his corporate development skills - specifically mergers and acquisitions - will come into play as Google moves to improve the Stadia platform and content line-up.

    Dov Zimring, Stadia developer platform lead

    If Dov Zimring's LinkedIn bio is correct, he started working on Stadia back in 2013. The product lead initially joined Google in June 2010 as a product manager for the company's Fiber internet infrastructure, moving to Stadia in 2013. There he has been leading the product team for that platform, from infrastructure to working with other developers and publishers.

    Unsurprisingly, he was also the product lead on Project Stream, which ran in October 2018 and was an early test of the underlying Stadia tech.

    Zimring might not have much games industry experience, but a Google alum with an intimate knowledge of the company's network infrastructure at the head of Stadia seems like a good call.

     

    Josh Feira, chief of staff

    Prior to joining Google in 2014, Fiera's CV includes stints at OneSoft, making XML ecommerce sites, designing WAP mobile sites at Openwave Systems and a close-to three-year stint at Lockhead Martin as a technical project manager. From there he moved to IT consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton as a senior associate, a role he held for seven years.

    He joined Google in 2014, first working on the firm's Search team, before moving to BizOps and - as of November 2018 - chief of staff for Stadia.


  • 2 Platform and technical roles

    Platform and technical roles logo

    Jim Wallace, certification lead

    Certification lead Jim Wallace's career in games started in music, working Absolute Entertainment as audio engineer between 1992 and 1995. From there he moved into production, holding these sorts of roles at both Capcom and PlayStation, briefly running his own firm, before returning to Sony as a senior manager in the firms program management team. Over the next 12 years, Wallace rose up to senior producer and eventually headed up format quality assurance for the PlayStation firm. He joined Google last October overseeing the tech firm's certification process.


    Relja Markovic, director of engineering

    Since the start of 2016, Relja Markovic has been working on Google's games tech, first a the engineering director for VR and AR. He moved to Stadia in 2018 as director of engineering. Prior to Google, Markovic held engineering or technology roles at giant companies including Facebook and Microsoft. He spent nine years at the BIg M between 2002 and 2011 working on Xbox Live, Kinect as well as games including Gears of War and Mass Effect. He returned in 2012 following an 18-month stint at Facebook, joining as CTO for HoloLens and Xbox/PC studios at Microsoft.


    Eric Kabisch, head of UX design

    The boss of Stadia's user experience team Eric Kabisch has been working in games since 1998, starting out making online games for kids toys. From there he held roles at CollegeClub.com, also designing games, before joining mobile publisher Scopely in 2011 as its UX lead. Kabisch has also dipped his toe into academia, having been a research fellow between 2004 and 2005 at the California Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technology as well as a researcher at Game Culture and Technology Lab and the Labaratory for Ubiquitous Computing and Interaction.

    Kabisch joined Google a year ago in April 2018.


    Meagan Timney, UX research lead

    Most of Stadia UX research lead Meagan Timney's career has been spent in academia one way or another. She has a PhD from Dalhousie University and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Victoria. From there she has held design roles at digital agency Marker Seven and book-making platform Blurb, joining employee education firm Inkling in 2013 in its user experience team. From there she moved to Google as senior UX researcher in September 2016, rising to staff UX researcher in November 2018.


    Majd Bakar, VP of engineering

    In the last 17 years, Majd Bakar has worked at two companies. He joined Microsoft as a senior software development engineer in 2002 having cut his teeth in a similar role at WebTV Networks. His almost-nine years at the Big M saw Bakar working in the firm's various development teams. That was before he joined Google in 2011 as the search giant's VP of engineering. There he worked on hardware products including the Chromecast and Chromecast Audio, but joined Stadia team as VP of engineering having worked on the Project Stream test in October 2018.


    Michelle Breman Olson, head of program and technical program management

    Michelle Breman has spent 12 years working for Google, starting out as a senior technical account manager back in 2007. From there she has held management roles on Google TV, the firm's GFiber internet infrastructure, its Home and Cast products and now Stadia.

    Her career started at Apple in 1990, where she worked as a licensing technical account manager and senior licensing engineering program manager, before she held roles at Microsoft, MetaTV and Ebay.


    Colin Boswell, director of engineering

    Stadia engineering director is a true industry veteran having started out at Camberley, UK's Digital Integration back in 1984. From there he worked on titles for British games titan Domark at Quixel Development ultimately joining Domark in 1988 as development manager. He worked there over nine years, leaving what was now-called Eidos in1997 to start an 18-year stint at Electronic Arts. He was bought into Google's hardware products division in June 2016 and now works on the firm's Stadia streaming platform.


    Sarah Walter, head of user experience research

    Walter's career in games stretches back as far as The Sims 2's development at Electronic Arts where she did two fourth-month internships. She was a researcher at Stanford University for close to seven years looking into topics including curriculum design for games development and how people collaborate in games.

    She joined Microsoft in 2010 as a user researcher, working into Xbox 360, Kinect, mobile and PC titles. After a brief stint as a freelancer, Walter joined Google's UX team in 2012. In this role she has worked on a plethora of products, such as Home, Chromecast, Wifi and - now - Stadia.


    Kuangye Guo, Stadia founding engineer

    Kuangye Guo is one of the longest-serving members of staff working on Stadia at Google. The engineering specialist came on board in 2014 and is credited as the founding engineer for Stadia and Project Stream. Before kicking off Google's game streaming business, Guo worked at GPU specialist Nvidia, financial media company Thomson Reuters and cloud games firm CiiNOW.

    This is actually the second time that Guo has worked at Google, having worked as a software engineering intern for fourth months back in 2010 working on YouTube transcoding.


    Michael McLennan, senior software engineer and tech lead

    Michael McLennan's background at Google is in its Fiber internet infrastructure, which he joined the company to work on in September 2015. That followed an 11-year stint as a senior research scientist at Purdue University where he was a director of the open source HUBzero platform for building websites for scientific purposes.


    Mahesh Kallahall, principal engineer/director

    The man in charge of infrastructure and gamer experience for Google's Stadia platform has been with the firm for over 13 years.

    Mahesh Kallahall joined the search and software giant back in 2006 having previously held research roles at Rice University, HP Labs and DoCoMo USA Labs. Before working on Stadia, Kallahall was in charge of networking site reliability, overseeing the tech behind both Google and YouTube.


    Andrey Doronichev, director of product management

    Having set up several companies in Russia - including an SMS service provider, a property agency and an online bed and home textile store - Andrey Doronichev joined Google in 2007 as product manager, working on the firm's help centre and various YouTube apps. Between 2010 and 2014, he headed up YouTube's mobile division, before moving to a director of product management role for Google's VR team - a role he held until November 2018. At that point, he moved to Stadia in the same position, leading the product team.


  • 3 The production Team

    The production Team logo

    Mike Soden, senior producer

    Senior producer Mike Soden boasts a very impressive CV, even more so when you consider he only started out in games in 2011.

    That was when he joined BioShock maker Irrational Games as an assistant producer, a role he held for two years and is credited on both BioShock Infinite and the second episode of its Burial at Sea DLC. From there he moved to a producer position Bungie in 2013, working on both Destiny and its 2017 sequel, before leaving and joining League of Legends maker Riot Games in 2015 in a marketing position.

    Soden was brought on board at Google in 2016 where he now works as a senior producer at the company's first-party Stadia Games and Entertainment studio.


    Michelle Vuckovich, senior producer

    Having started out working in editorial print at Magic The Gathering firm Wizards of the Coast and LucasFilm, Vuckovich moved to the video games industry in 2007 as an associate producer at Sega of America. From there she held production roles at a number of casual game makers, including Zynga and Nickelodeon, as well as a one-year stint as head of production at TreSena, producing HTML5 projects for clients such as Hollister, Reese's and Budweiser. She joined Google as a senior producer in July 2018.

    Louis-Pierre Pharand, executive producer

    Hailing from French Canada, Pharand has worked at most of the big names in the Montreal region. His career in games started out in late 2003, working at EA on projects including Medal of Honor: European Assault and GoldenEye Rogue Agent. From there he moved to Ubisoft Montreal, kicking off an eight-year stint producing Far Cry 2. The bulk of his time at this outfit was working in the company's Transmedia and merchandising teams, coming up with cross-media products, primarily for the Assassin's Creed series. Between 2013 and 2016 he co-founded indie studio Pixyul before joining Eidos Montreal. From there, he came to Google, starting in October 2018 on Project Stream.

    Graciela Ruiz, associate producer

    Pharand's career in games started at none other than now-defunct Walking Dead studio Telltale Games, where she started out as a cinematic artist in 2015. From that position, she rose up the ranks, firstly to assistant producer and eventually associate producer. During her time at the studio, she worked on projects including Batman: The Enemy Within, Minecraft: Story Mode, The Walking Dead: Michonne, Tales from the Borderlands, Game of Thrones and Guardians of the Galaxy. She joined Google in August 2018 as associate producer. 

    Devin McCarthy, associate producer

    Much like Ruiz, Devin McCarthy's career in games has largely been spent at Telltale Games. He joined The Walking Dead maker in 2014 as a developer QA lead, moving into production in as assistant producer and finally associate producer. That was until September 2018 when the studio imploded.

    He joined Google the following month as associate producer for Stadia.

    Justin Lambros, executive producer

    Having started out in journalism at GamePro, Lambros moved into production in 2001, joining LucasFilm and working on myriad Star Wars games including Force Unleashed, KOTOR and Jedi Knight. After four years at the home of Star Wars, Lambros held production roles at a series of firms including Sega of America, Marvel Entertainment and Electronic Arts. He joined social games firm Kabam in 2011 as its GM and executive producer, before holding the role of general manager at Kixeye for six months. After that, Lambros held further production roles at Disney Interactive, mobile specialist DeNA and Telltale Games. In February 2018, he joined Google's Stadia team as executive producer.


  • 4 Business development and partner-facing roles

    Business development and partner-facing roles logo

    Amy Venier, head of partner management

    Venier's career started out in media, where she held sales roles at the likes of IGN parent Ziff Davis, IDG, Future US, Condé Nast's Wired, CBS Interactive and Machinima. From there she joined Legendary Digital networks in 2014 as VP sales and partnerships for 18 months, before joining Google in September 2015. At the search giant, she was head of industry of the video games sector, before being promoted to head of partner management for Stadia test Project Stream in April 2018.

    Mike Riccio, director for games partner engineering

    After seven years working in tech at the likes of JP Morgan, WebDeck and Oracle, Mike Riccio joined the games industry via casual platform Pogo.com. That firm was snapped up by EA in 2001, where the engineering bod worked for a total of 13 years in its EA Online, EA Interactive, Pogo and Engineering and Architecture departments. A stint of just over three years at dating company Zoosk followed, before he joined Google as director of games partner engineering for Stadia in November 2017.

    Ananda Sen, head of content partnerships

    Between 2003 and 2011, Ananda Sen worked as a lawyer for firms including Greenberg Traurig LLP and Century Media but left this all behind in 2012 as he joined kids tech firm LeapFrog as its senior manager of licensing and business development. Sen worked here for two years, before moving across to Google as its business development manager for hardware. After that role, he was head of music partnerships for Google's hardware division, ultimately moving to head up content partnerships for Stadia in August 2017.

    Greg Canessa, global director strategy and business operations

    Over his close-to 30-year career in the games industry, Greg Canessa has held roles at some of the biggest players around. Starting out in 1991 as an evangelist for Apple's games and higher ed tech, he moved to Vivendi Games as a senior director of marketing two years later and - via a stint at Idealab - moved to Microsoft, working as part of the team that made Xbox Live. He worked at the Big M for seven years, leaving in 2007 to join PopCap as its VP of video game platforms, a role he held for two years, moving to Blizzard to look after its Battle.net platform in April 2009.

    Between July 2011 and March 2014, he was VP of mobile for Activision Blizzard, leaving in 2014 to work at Sony subsidiary GSN Games as SVP and general manager. In March 2017 he was hired by Google as global director for strategy and business operations for - you guessed it - Stadia.

    Paul Leventis, manager of Stadia developer and publisher tools

    During its GDC keynote, Google announced a number of both publishing tech and middleware companies that were working with Stadia, including Unreal, Unity and Improbable. It's likely that Paul Leventis is, in part, responsible for this integration, as he has been working on dev tools for Stadia since November 2016. Prior to this, he was working on Google's OnHub routers and the app ecosystem that surrounds them, having been hired by the search giant in June 2015. 

    Before joining Google, Leventis worked for 15 years at Altera, departing one month ahead of that corporation's acquisition by chip giant Intel.

    Sharon Campbell-Crow, developer education lead

    Technical writing specialist Campbell-Crow has been working in this sector since 2010 when she was promoted into this role at Media Temple. Since she has worked in this niche at the likes of Linode and as an independent contractor, also holding down editorial roles as well.

    She joined Google in June 2017 in this capacity, managing developer and API documentation for the search giant's business unit, rising to senior technical writer in October 2018. One of her areas of expertise is the open-source Linux platform, which will no doubt come in handy as Stadia is using this tech. Part of her role now is leading the charge on developer education for Google Stadia.

     

    Careen Yapp, strategic partnership management

    Careen Yapp's career in games has taken her all over the industry. She started out as a senior licensing manager for THQ in 1999, moving to D3's American branch in 2004 as VP licensing and business development. Between 2007 and 2013 she worked at Konami US as VP acquisitions and franchise development before moving to Gaikai, heading up business development and account management at the PlayStation-owned streaming service.

    All of this has been alongside advisory board positions at the likes of Game Connection, LIMA Licensing, IEP, Women in Games International, Entertainment Software Association Foundation and Games and Entertainment Management Group.

    She joined Google in May 2018 in strategic partnership management, likely helping bring firms like Ubisoft and Id on board with Stadia.


  • 5 PR and marketing

    PR and marketing logo

    Patrick Seybold, PR lead

    The head of PR for Stadia, Patrick Seybold, has been working in comms since 1997 when he started out as senior account executive at agency Blanc & Otus. From there he moved to Sony Computer Entertainment in America, rising to senior director for corporate communications and social media. He left PlayStation US in 2012, moving to Tapjoy where he worked for over three years, before joining Pandora heading up corporate comms. Prior to joining Google in August 2018, he spent two years as VP of communications and social media at tech firm HTC.


    Jake Pearce, global games marketing manager

    Despite having a career that started just six years ago, Pearce has worked on some of the biggest brands in games. He started out as a social marketing specialist for EA in 2013, managing Battlefield 4's social media presence and eventually being promoted to digital communications specialist.

    That as followed by over two years working at League of Legends maker Riot Games, which he joined as a content operations associate in 2015. In this role he organised web content promotions, among other responsibilities, before being promoted to marketing associate in June 2016. He left after 12 months, joining Google as global games marketing manager for Stadia in February 2019.

    Jayme Figueroa, global brand marketing manager

    Figueroa kicked off his marketing career in 2009 with roles at 4mm Games and 38 Studios, before joining Electronic Arts in 2012 as an associate product manager. Here he led the global marketing push for Battlefield 4. During his close-to six years at EA, he rose through the ranks, working as a global product manager, live services marketing manager, eventually leading marketing for Star Wars globally between September 2016 and April 2018. This, we imagine, would have been an 'interesting' time to be working on the brand. The marketing specialist moved to Google in May 2018 as brand marketing manager.

    Michael Johnson, global marketing director

    Marketing director Johnson joined Google in July 2016, heading up the firm's promotion efforts for AR and VR devices such as ARCore, Daydream and Cardboard, before rising to global marketing director for Stadia in December 2017.

    He moved to the search and software behemoth having held marketing roles at both Microsoft and Electronic Arts. Johnson is, in fact, a ten-year vet of the Big M, having been hired in 2003 and working on the firm's Kinect, Xbox first-party line-up and Xbox Live businesses for much of this decade-long stint. He moved to EA in 2013, helping to promo titles including The Sims, Mass Effect and Dragon Age Inquisition.


  • 6 The Hardware Team

    The Hardware Team   logo

    Timothy Hamm, Stadia hardware operations lead

    Business vet Hamm boasts 24 years experience in the tech and textile industries, joining the former in 2006 as the operations management (OPM) lead for the Mac at Apple. He worked at the house of Jobs until October 2012, having been hired by Google as OPM for its own-branded hardware, including the Pixel phone, which launched at the end of 2016. Until March 2019, he worked on this mobile tech, before switching to oversea Stadia's hardware. It's unclear if he's looking after the controller that was announced at GDC 2019 or the server infrastructure that powers Stadia.


    Marc Rillera, hardware launch manager

    After graduating from Stanford University, Rillera landed a role at Horizon Logistics as a business development manager and account exec.

    From there he moved to Apple, managing the tech firm's retail store in Las Vegas for two years. Rillera ended up working at Apple again, via stints at Caesars and Public Consulting Group, this time serving as manager for new product introduction readiness. This saw him overseeing the launches of products including the iPhone 6s and 6s+, iPad Pro, Apple Watch, Macbook and Apple TV. In April 2016, he was hired by Google as its finance operations manager, before moving back to overseeing hardware launches in December 2017. Initially, this was looking after Home and Nest products but now includes Stadia, too.

    Art Clessuras, senior director global operations

    The majority of Art Clessuras' career was spent at TiVo. He worked here from 1999 until 2013, starting as VP of consumer operations and leaving as VP of global operations and IT, having cut his teeth as a sales exec at US Cellular.

    Following close-to 14 years at digital video recording firm TiVo - where Clessuras worked as VP of consumer operations before being promoted to VP of global operations and IT in 2011 - he joined Google two years later as senior director of global operations and supply chain. He held that role until the start of 2019 when his responsibility was shifted to Stadia.


  • 7 The Stadia Store

    The Stadia Store  logo

    Paul Purdy, head of digital store operations

    A career in games started out in 1995 for Paul Purdy, with his first role in the industry being at LucasArts heading up the firm's quality services. A decade-long stint at the Star Wars and adventure game specialist was followed up by a 13-year run at Sony Computer Entertainment America. Purdy's time at PlayStation US started with a project manager role followed by stints in the PlayStation Network, PlayStation Home, Product Development for Digital Platforms, and ultimately, a five-year stint as director of digital operations for the Americas.

    This ended up February 2019, when he was appointed head of digital store operations for Google Stadia.


    Melissa Katich, digital store operations

    Katich's career in tech began in 2012 at Apple, where she was a program specialist. There she worked on products including the fifth generation iPad Touch, iPhone 4, iPhone 5C and iPhone 6, working with the engineering team to build prototypes among other responsibilities. From there she moved to Google in June 2014, initially overseeing product lines including VR applications and the Chromebook Pixel laptop and Pixel C tablet, but eventually moved to the accessories team, managing the likes of headsets, cables and phone cases. In February 2019, she was brought on board with the Stadia team, overseeing the platform's digital store operations.


Editor - PC Games Insider

Alex Calvin launched PCGamesInsider.biz in August 2017 and has been its editor since. Prior to this, he was deputy editor at UK based games trade paper MCV and content editor for marketing and events for London Games Festival 2017. His work has also appeared in Eurogamer, The Observer, Kotaku UK, Esquire UK and Develop.

Comments

No comments
View options
  • Order by latest to oldest
  • Order by oldest to latest
  • Show all replies