Keywords Studios names Bertand Bodson as new chief executive

Mr Bodson, who joins from Novartis, has also served at Sainsburys Argos, EMI and Amazon

Bertrand Bodson has been appointed as the new chief executive of Keywords Studios, the Dublin-founded but London-listed video games specialist.

Mr Bodson, who joins the company from healthcare giant Novartis, where he served as chief digital officer, succeeds Andrew Day, who recently stepped down after leading the company since 2009.

“I am excited to join Keywords as a proven market leader with a clear opportunity to continue to grow its services, reach and scale, and to capitalise on its integrated full service offering, in a global yet fragmented market,” said Mr Bodson.

At Novartis, Mr Bodson has led the digital transformation of the business. Prior to this he spent four years as chief digital and chief marketing officer at Sainsbury’s Argos where he led the transformation from a traditional catalogue business to the third largest online retailer in Britain. He subsequently led the integration of Argos into the Sainsbury’s store network.


Mr Bodson has also had senior roles at EMI and Amazon and is currently a non-executive director of Tesco and Wolters Kluwer.


"Bertrand brings an ideal skillset to leading our ambitious, international business given the breadth of his experience in shaping and executing growth strategies and engendering strong cultures at some of the world's leading businesses," said Ross Graham, chairman of Keywords.

“This expertise will be invaluable as we continue to grow across multiple territories to cement our position as the ‘go-to’ provider of scale within our industry, globally,” he added.

Keywords last week announced first-half revenues that were 37 per cent higher at €238.7 million, with organic revenue up almost 23 per cent. Profit before tax almost doubled in the period to €21.9 million from €11.1 million this time last year.

Keywords has made four acquisitions in 2021 for total consideration of up to €105 million. The acquisition of Heavy Iron Studios in January added to its US presence, with the company also entering Australia with the acquisition of Tantalus in March. Other acquisitions included Climax Studios in April and AMC in August.

Looking ahead, Keywords said its trading for the second half of the year had started well, with strong demand for its services.

Established in 1998, and now with more than 65 facilities in 22 countries, Keywords provides integrated art creation, marketing services, software engineering, testing, localisation, audio and customer care services across over 50 languages and multiple games platforms.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist