Video Game Industry Trade Group President and CEO Calls It Quits

October 5, 2018, 3:39 PM UTC

Mike Gallagher, the president and CEO of the Entertainment Software Association, has ended his 11-year tenure at the trade group and organizer of E3, the video game industry’s annual trade show.

Stanley Pierre-Louis, the ESA’s senior vice president and general counsel, will run the organization on an interim basis.

The reason for Gallagher’s departure was not announced and ESA spokespeople declined to offer additional details. Variety reports the board of the organization called for his resignation.

Gallagher was not a name that most gamers instantly recognized. He never made a hit video game—or any game, for that matter. And he’s a suit, who worked for the U.S. Department of Commerce before jumping into the electronic entertainment industry. But despite that relative anonymity, he had a big influence on the industry.

Gallagher led the ESA in 2011, when the Supreme Court struck down a California law that would have regulated the sale of video games based on their content. That ruling solidified first amendment rights for game makers and cooled Congressional calls for industry regulation.

During his time at the ESA, Gallagher also helped transition E3 from a media- and buyer-centric trade show to a consumer-facing one, welcoming fans onto the show floor. And he, along with CEOs of video game publishers, sat down with President Donald Trump earlier this year after Trump proposed regulating video games after a school shooting.

“Serving the video game industry and the ESA Board has been a tremendous honor,” Gallagher said in a statement. “ESA is in a strong position to continue the work ahead.”