Announcing A. Dylan Jadeja as Riot’s next CEO
Dylan will succeed Nicolo Laurent later this year as Nicolo moves into an advisor role.
We’re proud to announce that our current global president, A. Dylan Jadeja, will become our next CEO later this year. Dylan will succeed our current CEO Nicolo Laurent, who has spent the past 14 years in leadership roles at Riot, including six as CEO.
Dylan first joined Riot in 2011 as Chief Financial Officer and added Chief Operating Officer to his role in 2014. When our founders transitioned to co-chair roles in 2017, Dylan was named President of Riot and has been one of the key leaders in crafting Riot’s strategy and driving our culture forward.
The CEO transition from Nicolo to Dylan will take place over the coming months and should be completed by the end of 2023, after which Nicolo will stay with Riot in an advisory role. We’ll announce additional details about the leadership handoff once it’s complete.
Below we’ve shared the letters that Nicolo and Dylan sent to Rioter this morning about the news. For more about Dylan, check out his bio here.
Message to Rioters from Nicolo
After nearly 14 years with Riot, and almost 6 as CEO, I’m going to complete something that’s been on my quest log for some time: Later this year, I’m planning to step away from the CEO role to focus on my family.
We just shared this news during RiotNow, and you can check out the VOD on Riotnet (video should be up an hour from now). But in the meantime, we wanted to make sure anyone who missed the stream doesn’t miss the news. So, I’ve summarized some of the next steps for Riot, including who will be taking the reins as the next incoming CEO.
I can imagine this news may feel sudden, but transparently, it’s a decision that’s been on my mind for a while. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a long and amazing journey with Riot. I joined the company when we were a 40-person startup in 2009, with the goal of bringing League of Legends to players around the world. And that journey has brought me here, serving all of you, as Riot’s CEO. It’s a story I’m very proud of, but if I’m being completely honest, it’s also been tough. Not the grind, the hours, the stress…I’ve grown a tank build, so I can handle that part. It's really the personal trade-offs that have been hard and the sacrifices my wife and kids have made for my career, including all our expatriations. We’ve always been ok with this as a family, as long as we rebalance at some point. Now is that time. Especially since we miss France so much, and want to move back.
While this chapter is coming to a close, I don’t view this as an end — I don’t plan on joining another company or starting a new company. I love Riot, and I genuinely believe this is the best place in the world to make games… now more than ever. So I’ll stay at Riot as an advisor, for years to come, doing everything I can to help you win. But, I’m ready to hand the reins to someone new. To let someone who has been absolutely vital to Riot’s story, take the pen, and shape the chapters ahead.
So, it’s my pleasure to share that Riot’s next CEO will be Dylan Jadeja.
There’s a lot of context on how we approached succession planning and why we eventually landed on Dylan as Riot’s future CEO. Marc and Brandon covered it all in the RiotNow, so I won’t recap all the details here. But, I do want to acknowledge the process. Riot has reached a scale where we knew we needed to undertake a more extensive assessment of our needs and of candidates. For the first time in Riot’s history, we looked both inside and outside the company to find the very best person for this role and for Riot’s next chapter. The succession planning process lasted about three years, and we met with a lot of incredible candidates. When it came time to compare notes, everyone – the Board, our advisors, the founders, our executive search firm, and myself – all had Dylan at the very top of their list. It was unanimous.
Now, I’ve had the privilege of working with Dylan for years, and I’ve learned so much from him. He’s a natural leader who will do everything in his power to unlock our creative talent to do their best work. He’s bold in his thinking and has always believed in the counterintuitive moves that have helped us raise the bar of what’s possible for players.
One of his biggest strengths? Empathy. The best leaders for the future will be the ones who can lead at scale, with empathy, and Dylan is one of them. He’s genuine and humble in his leadership, but also unafraid to ask the tough questions to get to the best answer.
But most importantly, Dylan has a strong passion for Riot’s culture and DNA. He appreciates what makes Riot special — great Rioters and great teams, who love players, and love games — and will make sure we keep evolving to always be the best version of Riot we can be.
There are so many reasons why I fundamentally believe he’ll be the perfect leader to steward Riot over the next several years — too many for an email that I actually want Rioters to read. Just know, I can’t think of a better person to be the next CEO.
We all know changes like this can create a lot of ambiguity, but I want to be clear in saying that Dylan and I both want this transition to be as smooth as it can be for Rioters. The actual handoff isn’t happening overnight. We are planning to fully transition by the end of the year and will share more updates in the coming weeks.
Please join me in congratulating Dylan, and I’ll see you next week at the Campfire. 👊
Message to Rioters from Dylan
And hello Rioters!
We talk a lot about staying hungry and humble, and on a day like today, I must admit that “humble” does not sufficiently capture how fortunate I feel. I think we have all had the experience of being astounded by the talent surrounding us at Riot, but to be asked to lead this incredible group of people is a special honor and not something that I take lightly. I will do my best to make you proud.
I’ve been here for more than 12 years, and in many ways, Riot is my home; a home I’m deeply invested in, fiercely protective of, and grateful for every single day. I feel fortunate every day to work with some of the smartest and most passionate people I’ve ever worked with — people who have taught me not only what it means to be a player, but to sincerely care for a mission that’s bigger than any of us. This passion and deep care for players is not something that I will ever take for granted.
I’m also really proud of how far we’ve come over the years. It certainly hasn’t been an easy road — or a perfect one by any means — but collectively, we’ve accomplished so much for players. Through it all, I’ve been inspired by how we’re never afraid to take the road less traveled to stay true to each other and our mission. Every Rioter, at every level, carries a large sense of responsibility and ownership over our destiny. This is our super power.
Today, as we start our next chapter, I’m more excited than I’ve ever been about our future. I truly believe that our success will depend on our ability to empower our creative heart while staying resolute on our mission for players, no matter how difficult the environment or the situation. As we face new challenges and opportunities, if we can stay true to this, I would bet on us to not only succeed, but to set a new bar for what’s possible for players.
As we look to the transition, it would be disingenuous for me to suggest that I have all the answers and an action plan already defined. In fact, I’d argue that this would be inauthentic to who I am and how I work. Over the next few months, my intention is to use this transition window to listen and (re)learn. I want to engage with parts of Riot that I haven’t in some time, particularly on the product side. We’ve made a lot of changes in the past few years, and with your help, I’d like to take stock of where we are and get a deeper understanding of what's working and what we can do better. During this period, I’m going to ask for your patience, your willingness to share perspectives, and an openness to new ideas.
As CEO, it is fair to assume that I may do some things differently than those before me, but I want to assure you that the goal for us — together — will not waver. And that is to make Riot, unequivocally, the most trusted and authentic game company in the world… built by players, for players. The kind of place where people know that everything they play and experience from Riot will be amazing and that everything we do is focused on making it better to be a player.