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Wizards of the Coast president Cynthia Williams departs D&D and Magic: The Gathering's maker

An SEC filing confirms that Hasbro is searching “both internal and external” for her replacement

Wizards of the Coast's former president Cynthia Williams
Image credit: Hasbro

Cynthia Williams will be stepping down as Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro Gaming’s president and CEO on April 26th, according to an SEC filing from the company’s owner, Hasbro. No replacement has been named at this time, but the toy company responsible for Peppa Pig, Transformers and - more germane to tabletop - Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering, is “conducting a process to identify her successor, looking at both internal and external candidates.”

Williams joined Wizards of the Coast in 2022, replacing Chris Cocks as president when he took Hasbro’s reins as CEO. Her role consisted of managing two of the biggest names in the tabletop industry, along with Hasbro’s suite of other analogue games - Scrabble, Monopoly and Cluedo, to name a few. She helped implement Cocks’ Blueprint 2.0 strategy, which narrowed Hasbro’s focus on licensing the company’s most profitable brands and emphasizing digital products as much as possible.

When reached for comment, a Hasbro representative said this: “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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Williams previously worked as Microsoft’s general manager and vice president of the Gaming Ecosystem Commercial Team, and before that clocked 10+ years at Amazon where, according to BusinessWire, she “led the global growth of their e-commerce direct-to-consumer business Fulfillment by Amazon.” Amongst all the corporate title bloat is a clear skill set that Hasbro wanted inside their machine. Experience in digital gaming, direct-to-consumer sales and the commercial positioning of products ostensibly fit Hasbro’s ambitious plans for Wizards of the Coast and its flagship games.

That blueprint has not materialized in the way Cocks wanted. The company faces an extremely tough 2023 and laid off 1,100 workersin order to salvage a bump in stock prices at the end of a tumultuous year that saw both the OGL fiasco and the miraculous success of Baldur's Gate 3. We can’t say for sure that Williams’ departure signals yet another new phase within the flagging toy giant or if the Wizards’ president found an opportunity to deploy her golden parachute before things get worse.

An interim president will likely be announced prior to Williams’ final day on April 26th, so keep checking Dicebreaker for more information as it becomes available.

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