Hasbro Gaming, Wizards of the Coast president Cynthia Williams resigns after two years in role

Cynthia Williams, the president of Hasbro’s digital gaming arm and Magic: The Gathering and D&D publisher Wizards of the Coast, has resigned from the company after two years in the role.

Williams told Hasbro two days ago that she would be stepping down on April 26, according to a filing the company submitted to the US securities and exchange commission today.

Hasbro said in the filing it is conducting a search for her successor, and will be considering both internal and external candidates, but is yet to make a further statement on Williams’ resignation.

Hasbro hired Williams in February 2022 to head up Wizards of the Coast and its digital gaming operations, with WotC’s then president and COO Chris Cocks transitioning to become Hasbro CEO following the death of long-time incumbent Brian Goldner.

During her tenure WotC outperformed for Hasbro, with Magic: The Gathering becoming the company’s first brand to exceed $1bn in annual revenue in 2022.

Last year WotC saw a 10% revenue bump year-on-year compared to a 15% revenue slide for Hasbro as a whole, underpinned by the ongoing strength of Magic and Dungeons & Dragons – particularly the hugely successful release of D&D video game Baldur’s Gate III.

Williams’ tenure has been marred with controversy too, however. At the end of 2022 she told an investor seminar D&D was “undermonetised” despite the game having “never been more popular”. A month later Hasbro was forced to apologise when leaked plans emerged that would see its long-standing Open Gaming Licence changed to introduce charges and control stipulations over the work of third-party creators – causing a huge backlash from fans.

She also presided over WotC during its decision to send Pinkerton agents to the house of a YouTube creator to retrieve mistakenly sold cards from a then unreleased Magic: The Gathering set, which he had leaked online.

A statement provided to BoardGameWire by Hasbro said, “We’re excited for Cynthia to take the next step in her career and grateful for the contributions she has made in her more than two years at Wizards and Hasbro. We wish her the absolute best in her next endeavor.

“We have started the search for our next President of Wizards of the Coast and hope to have a successor in place soon.”

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