EA CCO Bing Gordon Departs For "All-New Round Of Invention"

Ten-year Electronic Arts chief creative officer William "Bing" Gordon is leaving the company to join California venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byer, the firm announced today.

Newsweek's N'Gai Croal conducted an extensive interview about Gordon's decision to leave EA for the position of partner at Kleiner, beginning in June. In addition to being on comfortable terms with the partners at Kleiner, Gordon explained to Croal that the gaming youth and emerging trends helped inspire his decision:

"Being on campus with young people in videogame classes; seeing what they're interested in; seeing what's going on with the Internet turning into new kinds of platforms, from iPhone to Facebook and Amazon Web Services—I've gotten fired up about an all-new ride, an all-new round of invention that's coming," he says. "Kind of as part hobby, part work, I started diving into it. I realised that I really, really, really wanted to be in the middle of that.

It's worth noting that Gordon was one of EA's earliest employees, and that Kleiner was one of the first investors in the company during Trip Hawkins' startup days back in 1982. Full announcement from Kleiner follows the jump.

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William "Bing" Gordon Joins Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers as Partner

Electronics Arts Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer Brings Consumer and Virtual Gaming Expertise to KPCB Technology Entrepreneurs

MENLO PARK, California, April 28, 2008—Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers today announced that William "Bing" Gordon will join the firm as Partner in June 2008. Gordon will provide his unique insight and expertise to entrepreneurs in consumer technologies.

"Bing possesses a rare combination of tremendous creative insight and keen business judgment," said KPCB Partner John Doerr. "His success with dynamic and engaging digital entertainment and consumer media is invaluable for innovators in mobility, social networks, gaming and entertainment - indeed, in any area that interacts directly with consumers."

For the last 10 years, Gordon served as Chief Creative Officer at Electronic Arts, with responsibility for the company's creative products and oversight of multiple studios. He will maintain his relationship with Electronic Arts as Chief Creative Officer Emeritus, and return to the company to lead periodic workshops on innovation with EA Studio leaders.

Well-known for driving creativity and reality in the digital world, Gordon co-founded Electronic Arts in 1982. It is now the world's leading independent developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software for advanced console systems. Gordon was integral to the creation of more than 20 different award-winning game franchises, including Madden NFL, The Sims and Need for Speed.

During his tenure, he led business, entertainment and marketing groups, helping the company innovate and evolve the interactive entertainment medium across console, PC and mobile platforms. Prior to his role as Chief Creative Officer, Gordon served as Executive Vice President of Marketing, Executive Vice President of EA Studios and as Senior Vice President of Entertainment Production.

"There is a new generation who have grown up 'always on, always digital,'" said Gordon. "Driven by their creativity and new usage habits, entertainment and communications are on the verge of previously unimaginable changes. Ever since KPCB funded Electronic Arts' initial business plan in 1982, I have watched the KPCB team find and support brilliant company-makers to harness disruptive digital technologies that benefit people. I cannot wait to join the firm, and work directly with an all-new generation of entrepreneurs."

Ted Schlein, KPCB Partner, commented, "Adding Bing to our team enhances our investment perspective and will benefit our ventures across the consumer technology landscape. As applications and services evolve more and more rapidly, Bing's depth of experience and industry-wide respect will help our entrepreneurs realise the full potential of their innovations."

Gordon is a member of the board of directors of Amazon.com. In 2005, he accepted a faculty chair position at the University of Southern California's Interactive Media Division after Electronic Arts invested in the fledgling program. Additionally, he co-taught Videogame Prototype Design at Stanford University, and serves at Yale University on the "Digital Yale" presidential advisory council and as advisor to Yale's computer science faculty on its "Computing and the Arts" initiative. He is a trustee at the Urban School of San Francisco.

Gordon holds a B.A. degree from Yale University and an M.B.A. degree from Stanford University.

About Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

Since its founding in 1972, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has backed entrepreneurs in over 500 ventures, including AOL, Amazon.com, Citrix, Compaq Computer, Electronic Arts, Genentech, Genomic Health, Google, Intuit, Juniper Networks, Netscape, Lotus, Sun Microsystems, Symantec, VeriSign and Xilinx. In February 2008, KPCB announced its $100 million iFund initiative targeted at innovation in the Apple iPhone and iTouch platform. KPCB portfolio companies employ more than 250,000 people. More than 150 of the firm's portfolio companies have gone public. Many other ventures have achieved success through mergers and acquisitions.


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