Board of directors

Board of directors

Steve Bell – portrait 4

Steve Bell

Group Chief Executive Officer

Steve was appointed Group Chief Executive Officer in September 2023. Steve joined the Group from Iris Worldwide Holdings Limited (“Iris”), a global integrated marketing agency specialising in brand and digital marketing strategy. Steve amassed extensive digital marketing expertise at Iris, having held numerous senior leadership roles since co-founding Iris in 1999, including the role of Global Group Chief Executive since 2021. Steve managed over 1000 employees in 14 offices around the world, and oversaw Iris’ work with some of the biggest, most creatively driven and technologically advanced global brands, and was instrumental in developing and delivering Iris’ commercial and M&A strategies.

Prior to co-founding Iris, Steve worked for the advertising and retail agency Arc Worldwide, spending over five years working across a number of high-profile integrated accounts.

Mark Crawford – portrait

Mark Crawford

Group Chief Financial Officer

Mark joined the Board in April 2020 having been interim Chief Financial Officer since November 2019. Mark has over two decades at Executive and Board level and is a qualified Chartered Management Accountant.

He joined the Group from TravelUp, a privately owned online travel business, where he was Chief Financial Officer from 2018.

Previously, Mark was Chief Financial Officer of TP Group plc, an AIM-listed specialist technology, energy and defence business, and prior to that held a number of positions with large corporates, including Glaxo Pharmaceuticals, PepsiCo Restaurants, Gondola Restaurants plc and more recently Kingfisher plc, supporting their major pan-European supply chain and logistics transformation programme.

Frank Sagnier – portrait

Frank Sagnier

Non-Executive Chair

Frank is an experienced executive and entrepreneur with a successful track record in the video games industry. He brings over 25 years of gaming sector experience to the Board, having held plc, private equity and senior roles with Codemasters, Electronic Arts, Acclaim Entertainment, Double Fusion, and Funcom.

In 2014, Frank was appointed CEO of Codemasters. During his tenure he led the transformation and restructuring of the business, building one of the most iconic racing games development studios and publishers of the F1 racing brand, before leading the company’s successful IPO in 2018. Codemasters was later acquired by EA in 2021 (NASDAQ: EA), in a deal worth $1.2bn.

Frank is currently serving as non-executive Chair for video game developers nDreams and Steel City Interactive.

Debbie Bestwick – portrait

Debbie Bestwick MBE

Non-Executive Director

Debbie is an industry leader with over 30 years’ experience in the games industry and is one of the founding members of Team17 Group plc. Initially leading the Group’s Sales and Marketing department, Debbie went on to become responsible for all of the commercial and legal aspects of the business, working globally with top tier games distributors, publishers, developers, and licence partners. Debbie became joint CEO in 2009 and sole CEO in 2010, leading the Group through its 2011 management buy-out and subsequent sale of a minority stake to LDC in 2016. Debbie was awarded an MBE for services to the video games industry in 2016, was joint winner of the Entrepreneur of the Year UK Disruptor category in 2017 and was awarded the inaugural Outstanding Contribution to the UK Games Industry at the 2017 Golden Joystick Awards.

Previously, Debbie has been honoured with the Hall of Fame award at the European Women in Games Conference 2015, MCV Person of the Year award in 2015, was voted AIM Entrepreneur of the Year in 2020 and was awarded the highly prestigious Develop Star Award in 2021.

Penny Judd – portrait 2

Penny Judd

Non-Executive Director

Penny joined the Board in 2018 in advance of the successful IPO on AIM and is Chair of the Audit Committee. Penny has over 30 years’ experience in Compliance, Regulation, Corporate Finance and Audit. Penny is currently Chair of FRP Advisory Group PLC, and she is also a Non-Executive Director of AIM-listed LendInvest, Alpha Financial Markets Consulting plc and TruFin plc, and serves as Senior Independent Director and Chair of the Audit Committee of both latter companies. Penny was, until June 2016, a Managing Director and EMEA Head of Compliance at Nomura International plc, a position she held for three years. Prior to this, Penny worked at UBS Investment Bank for nine years and held the position of Managing Director, EMEA Head of Compliance. Penny also acted as Head of Equity Markets at the London Stock Exchange and qualified as a Chartered Accountant.

Peter Whiting – portrait

Peter Whiting

Non-Executive Director

Peter was appointed Non-Executive Director in August 2023. Peter is a highly experienced NED, having spent over ten years in several non-executive roles across a wide range of boards. Beginning his career as an equity research analyst at Panmure Gordon, Peter later moved to UBS where he specialised in UK Technology, Engineering and Automotive sectors, before going on to become Chief Operating Officer of UBS European Equity Research. Since leaving UBS in 2011, Peter has served on a variety of boards, and is currently Chair of Kooth plc, Senior Independent Director of FDM Group plc, and an independent Non-Executive Director for Aurrigo International plc. Peter Chairs the Audit Committee for Kooth plc and Remuneration Committee for FDM Group plc. He is also a NED and RemCo chair at Celebrus Technologies plc and audit chair at Aurrigo.