Gameplay's sales and marketing director Andy Mee, alongside
financial director Lisa Burke, has spearheaded the UK management buyout
of the retailer's boxed games division.
The buyout involves taking control of the company's UK mail-order and
Mee, a former Sega European marketing director, is now managing director
of Gameplay GB. He also has overall responsibility for marketing, while
Burke becomes commercial director.
The pair bought out the division for pounds 1 earlier this month after
Gameplay decided to split the business into two distinct entities: a
boxed games business selling direct to consumers via mail order and the
internet, and a technology business offering digital distribution and
online gaming services for other companies.
The company is also understood to have made its European web team
redundant as a result of the sell-off of the boxed games business.
Casualties include online marketing director Steve Blackburn, who was
responsible for the pan-European web site gameplay.com.
"We've got control of the business-to-consumer mail order, telesales and
the web site gameplay.com, which we will transfer to gameplay.co.uk in
the next few months," said Mee, who joined Gameplay 18 months ago. "If
video games don't sell on the internet nothing will."
He claimed it had built up a database of 550,000 customers' names and
Gameplay GB is gearing up for a direct marketing assault this summer.
Its creative and media-buying agency is Waxmans.
A separate management buyout team has snapped up the company's
Swedish-based boxed games business, but the German retail operation was
put into the hands of administrators.
The management buyouts followed Gameplay's failure to secure a buyer for
the retail business, leaving the plc to concentrate on being a
Gameplay axed 275 jobs across Europe in February and closed down its
eight UK retail outlets previously branded @jakarta, owned by
shareholder Dixons, in a radical cost-cutting drive.
Gameplay plc was due to reveal its interim results yesterday