The Global Esports Federation (GEF) has confirmed several new leadership roles, including the appointment of a new COO, according to a release.
Following “three months of worldwide consultative sessions and research,” Chris Chan, President of the federation, has appointed Paul J. Foster as its Chief Operating Officer. The launch of eight Commissions has also been confirmed, as well as the addition of Hideki Okamura to the GEF Board.
Paul J. Foster has taken on the role of COO after initially serving as a Senior Advisor to the GEF Board. Foster has extensive experience in sports, having spent 15 years in the Olympic movement and having led teams at more than 10 Olympic Games, culminating in a tenure as Head of Protocol, Events and Hospitality at the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne, Switzerland. His new position will see him responsible for putting together a leadership team to spearhead the GEF.
Foster described his eagerness to get started in his new position: “The GEF motto, #worldconnected, says it all. Through the power of connectivity, esports offers a platform of inclusive participation, learning, sharing, and enjoyment, regardless of physical distance. I am excited to continue contributing to Global Esports Federation in fulfilling its mission to convene the esports ecosystem and unleash the unlimited possibilities of sports in this Digital Age.”
Meanwhile, Okamura brings a wealth of esports and gaming understanding to the GEF Board. His previous positions include several decades of consumer business experience at SEGA, where he became Chairman of the Board of SEGA Group Co., Ltd. He currently serves as the Representative Director of Japan esports Union (JeSU).
Eight Commissions have also been confirmed with more than 70 members worldwide, led by members of the GEF Board. The Commissions will advise the Board in order to help fulfil the GEF’s overall goals to develop “a safe, healthy, and sustainable” esports ecosystem. The established Commissions are as follows:
- Athletes and Players. Chair: Charmaine Crooks. Vice Chair: Koen Schobbers
- Brand, Marketing, Commercial and Communications. Chair: Lorenzo Giorgetti
- Digital, Technology, Innovation. Chair: Chris Overholt
- Education, Culture, Wellness. Chair: Chester King. Vice Chair: Tyrone Seward
- Finance, Legal, Administration. Chair: Adrian F. Lismore
- Governance and Ethics. Chair: T A Ganda Sithole
- Membership. Chairs: Ramil Aliyev and Mario Cilenti
- Technical and Development. Chairs: Chong Geng Ng and Mars Hou
The Global Esports Federation was officially launched in December 2019 with the backing of Chinese multinational conglomerate Tencent. The Federation states that its latest additions are in line with its mission “to convene the world’s esports ecosystem.”
Esports Insider says: The Global Esports Federation has expanded significantly since its reveal in December, and its new leadership appointments have added an impressive degree of credibility to its esports endeavours. However, though the GEF may be incredibly well-connected and aim to achieve a lot of good for the industry, it’s important to remember that Tencent’s heavy involvement suggests that the Federation’s operations will inevitably carry a vested financial interest.