Team17 CEO Debbie Bestwick MBE has announced that she will be stepping down from the role as soon as a successor is found (thanks, GI.biz).
Bestwick – who has been involved with leading the firm since it was founded in 1990 – has stated that the hunt for the company's next CEO has already begun, and both internal and external candidates are being considered. Furthermore, it has been stated that Bestwick will remain at the company to offer "mentorship, support and guidance" in a non-executive role.
Bestwick said of the news:
"This has probably been the hardest decision I’ve made, but I wouldn’t have made it if I wasn’t confident in the succession plans and the leadership team’s ability to deliver the clear and focused strategy regarding our collective goals and ambitions. Ultimately, I want to spend more time with my children who have made sacrifices many times during my career and specifically to spend more time with my youngest before he goes to university."
Team17 was formed when publisher 17-Bit Software was merged with the Swedish three-man game studio Team 7 on December 7th, 1990. Bestwick ran the company alongside Martyn Brown and Michael Robinson until she bought out both men in 2010, becoming the company's CEO and sole director. She earned her MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in June 2016.
The company arguably made its name with a raft of excellent titles for the Amiga, including Worms, Alien Breed, Project-X and Superfrog.
In more recent years, Team17 has shifted into a publishing role and has been rocked by more than one negative story. In 2022, it was reported that some staff had highlighted poor pay and accusations of sexual harassment, whilst also calling into question the management of Bestwick. The report came just after Team17 was forced to cancel a proposed NFT project following a backlash from fans and its development partners.