Debbie Bestwick names Steve Bell as successor at Team17 Group

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Team17 Group said that Debbie Bestwick, its longtime CEO has named Steve Bell as the company’s new CEO.

Bestwick will continue in the role of group CEO at Team17 until the end of 2023, working with Bell closely in his initial months to ensure a smooth transition. Team17 has a number of hit franchises such as the Overcooked and Worms games.

It’s a major move as Bestwick has had a very long tenure at Team17 — more than 30 years — and she is one of the only female CEOs at a major game company.

Bell will join Team17 on September 4 as group CEO designate and assume the full role of group CEO on January 1, 2024.

Bestwick will join the board as a non-executive director on 1 January 2024.

Bell joins from Iris Worldwide Holdings Limited, a global integrated marketing agency specializing in brand and digital marketing strategy, which he cofounded in 1999. Bell has amassed extensive digital marketing expertise, having held senior leadership roles since cofounding Iris, including the role of global group CEO since 2021.

Managing over 1,000 employees in 14 offices around the world, Bell has overseen Iris’ work with some of the biggest, most creatively driven and technologically advanced global brands and has been instrumental in developing and delivering Iris’ commercial and M&A strategies.

Chris Bell, non-executive group chair, said in a statement, “We are delighted to have attracted a candidate of Steve’s calibre to Team17. Having worked with some of the world’s leading brands, Steve brings a wealth of commercial and digital marketing experience to Team17, and we look forward to leveraging this expertise as Team17 moves forward to its next stage of growth.”

And Bestwick said in a statement, “As a board, we have run a rigorous process to find a new Group Chief Executive and we are delighted to announce Steve as my successor. Steve’s experience as a cofounder of a people-centric business means he understands the importance of our vibrant and inclusive company culture which remains the cornerstone of everything we do across the Group. I look forward to working with Steve through the handover process, and to supporting him and the broader team thereafter in my role as a non-executive director.”

And Steve Bell said in a statement, “I am thrilled to be joining Team17. The Company has an incredible track record and I’m excited to help build on the Group’s strong foundations to continue its impressive growth trajectory. I look forward to working closely with the Board, Mark (CFO), Michael, Julia, Tim and Emmet – the Group’s divisional CEO’s and their broader teams to bring even more compelling games and apps to players, alongside driving further momentum by supporting the Group’s successful organic and acquisitive growth strategy.”

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