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US games trade body ESA finally appoints new president and CEO

US games trade body ESA finally appoints new president and CEO

United States video games trade body The Entertainment Software Association has named its next president and CEO.

Stanley Pierre-Louis takes the top job, having served as the organisation's interim boss since October 2018 when it announced that previous top bod Michael Gallagher was going to be stepping down.

Pierre-Louis' appointment comes in the wake of a damning report about Gallagher and the organisation in general.

Prior to taking the CEO job, Pierre-Louis served as an ESA senior vice president and general counsel since May 2015.

Before being hired to The ESA, Pierre-Louis' career was in the legal profession, starting as an associate at Shea & Gardner between 1996 and 1999. That was before he joined the Recording Industry Association of America - a trade body for the music industry - where he worked for over six years in the organisation's legal affairs department. After an 18 month stint at New York law firm Kaye Scholer, Pierre-Louis spent just under eight years at American phone network Viacom, first as the company's VP and associate general counsel for IP and content protection before being promoted to SVP and associate general counsel for IP.

“I look forward to leading the ESA and advocating for the industry with a strong voice and clear vision,” said Pierre-Louis.

“The future of our industry is bright and limitless. Video games are a part of the fabric of American culture and a cornerstone of entertainment.”

ESA chair and ZeniMax Media CEO Robert Altman added: “Stan’s strategic vision, years of entertainment industry experience, and policy expertise make him the ideal choice to lead our industry through this period of growth and opportunity. The Board and the industry look forward to his leadership of the ESA.”

In the wake of the damning report into former ESA boss Gallagher's management style - and his right-wing political leanings, in contrast to much of the games industry - readers may be happy to learn that Pierre-Louis has more left-wing leanings. In 2007, when he was at the Recording Industry Association of America he contributed to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in New York, while in 2015 and 2016, he put money behind former Democratic National Committee political director and ex-Clinton administration domestic policy advisory Clyde Williams' Congressional campaign

Since taking on the interim boss role, Pierre-Louis has worked to defend the triple-A games industry, saying that video games are not addictive and that the organisation wants no part in discussions about whether developers need unions.

Last week, in a statement to press in the wake of a new bill being introduced to the US Senate in an effort to protect minors from loot boxes, Pierre-Louis named seven countries where loot boxes had not been deemed gambling. The only problem was this is actually only true for one of them, New Zealand, with the topic being subject to on-going investigation in the other six regions. 

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.