Press release: 1998-03-24: Sega Promotes Stolar To President

From Sega Retro

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Language: English
Original source: (archived)


REDWOOD CITY, Calif. -- March 24, 1998 --
Sega® of America today announced that Bernard Stolar has been promoted from chief operating officer (COO) to president and COO, responsible for all of Sega’s video game development, marketing, sales and operations in North America. Since Stolar’s arrival at Sega in 1996, he has been leading the effort to effectively manage Sega’s mature products, including Sega Saturn™ and Genesis™, in order to create an environment in which the company’s new "super" console can win significant market share in North America once it is launched in 1999.

Stolar will report directly to Shoichiro Irimajiri, who was recently named representative director and president of Sega Enterprises, Ltd., and who serves as chairman and chief executive officer of Sega of America.

Stolar retains his position as president and COO of Sega Entertainment, which publishes original content PC titles and games based on Sega’s hit properties.

"Sega’s goal is to be the global leader in in-home interactive entertainment, and the first step toward accomplishing this is putting the right people in the right places," said Irimajiri. "Bernie’s experience and competitive drive will keep the company focused on the key elements for success in the North American market."

Prior to joining Sega, Stolar was executive vice president at Sony Computer Entertainment America, where he was a member of the original management team that launched the Sony PlayStation and built the company’s third-party and business development programs.

In a related move, Sega also promoted Yukio Aoyama from senior vice president, finance, to chief financial officer and Makoto Kaneshiro from senior vice president, business planning, to executive vice president of business planning and operations, reporting to Stolar. Both Aoyama and Kaneshiro come from Sega Enterprises, Ltd. to support Stolar’s leadership in the United States.

Stolar will oversee Sega’s continued retail sales and consumer marketing efforts for the Sega Saturn and Genesis consoles and games in North America while building toward launching the company’s next video game console in the fall of 1999.

"I have always believed that Sega has the assets to capture and maintain the dominant share of the video game console market. We have the biggest and most creative software development teams in the world, some of the most popular video game characters and properties, and a brand awareness that most companies would kill for," said Stolar. "We’re going to focus our efforts to better utilize Sega’s core strengths so that in working closely with our software partners, retailers and consumers, we will all win."

Stolar has organized Sega’s North American operation around three key objectives: 1) breakthrough first- and third-party games, 2) strong retail presence, and 3) cutting-edge consumer marketing and communications. He will be responsible for expanding Sega’s U.S. management structure and creating the right internal teams to accomplish these goals to support the new platform.

Sega’s new platform will showcase the company’s most popular characters in revolutionary new games and an all-new Sega Sports™ line-up. Under Stolar’s direction, Sega invested in leading sports game developer Visual Concepts for exclusive rights to team sports games featuring the most advanced animation and artificial intelligence on any gaming platform.

Sega’s third-party licensing team is currently meeting with video game publishers and delivering software development kits so developers can start prototyping games for the new platform.

Stolar plans to change the way consumers see, think about and interact with Sega through creative new in-store retail programs, national promotions and advertising.

Sega of America is the arm of Tokyo, Japan-based Sega Enterprises, Ltd. responsible for the development, marketing and distribution of Sega videogame systems and videogames in the Americas. Sega Enterprises, Ltd. is a nearly $3.0 billion company recognized as the industry leader in interactive digital entertainment media, and is the only company that offers interactive entertainment experiences both inside and outside the home. Sega of America's World Wide Web site is located at (