Keywords Studios Hires Novartis Exec, Bertrand Bodson, as CEO

Keywords hires Bertrand Bodson as CEO

Keywords Studios has a new leader. The game services giant announced the appointment of Novartis exec, Bertrand Bodson, to the CEO post on September 20, 2021. Bodson takes over from ​​Jon Hauck (CFO) and Sonia Sedler (COO) who served as joint interim CEOs after Andrew Day retired in June 2021.

Bodson told Slator, “Keywords presented such an interesting opportunity to someone with my background. First, I’ve been fortunate to drive growth strategies across businesses of scale, and Keywords is already a proven market-leader, supplying almost all of the major developers in a sector that has massive growth potential.

“That would be exciting enough but, on top of that, I believe the quality of the platform that’s been built, and its attractiveness to potential partners and acquisition targets, provides the Group with a clear opportunity to continue to grow its services and scale.”

He added that he shares the Board’s vision to grow the Keywords Studios platform on a global scale and can hardly wait to apply some of his own ideas. “I believe [Keywords] can operate equally effectively across many adjacent content industries,” Bodson said.

On where he expects to make the most impact on the business, Bodson singled out two areas: (1) driving organic growth by combining its range of services into a more integrated offer (already an ongoing effort) and (2) working out how to apply that offer to adjacent fields.

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Moreover, as Keywords already counts as clients 23 of the 25 top game developers, the new CEO said he wants to drive an “entrepreneurial, inclusive culture that rewards those who deliver for our clients.”

Asked what his plans are between now and December 1, 2021 when he formally assumes the CEO role, Bodson said it will be to listen: “The key part of taking it on will be speaking to our talented specialists at all levels and finding out what’s working well, and what could be improved, and where they feel the opportunities lie.”

“I believe [Keywords] can operate equally effectively across many adjacent content industries” — Bertrand Bodson, CEO, Keywords

He also wants to “get more under the skin of our service offering, speaking to clients to find out exactly why they choose to come to us, and what we can do to make their lives easier.”

Five days before Bodson’s appointment was announced, the company reported interim results for the first half of its financial year 2021, showing a 20% growth in its game localization service lines (SlatorPro).