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Electronic Arts interview: EA A/NZ general manager, Rob Davey

Patrick Budmar | Jan. 25, 2013
We find out more about the man behind the industry leading publisher.

Moving to Sydney from the UK, Rob Davey took up the general manager position at Electronics Arts for Australia and New Zealand in 2011. In the role means that Davey is not only in charge of overseeing EA's operation in two territories, but also the distribution of the publisher's titles in physical and digital outlets. Although Davey graduated from university in the UK with a degree in Biology, he admits to a passion for the games industry dating back to the ZX Spectrum. For that reason, Davey sees the current global games market being at one of the most exciting points in its relatively short history, and is excited to be a part of its development.

Before you joined EA, where did you work?

EA A/NZ general manager, Rob Davey (RD): Prior to joining EA in the UK, I worked for 16 years in the UK beer industry for the company now known as Anheuser-Busch InBev, working initially as a front line man manager in Operations, ultimately moving into Sales.

What ultimately drew you to the games space?

RD: I grew up with gaming. As a very young lad I played Pong, one of the first videogames, before getting a 48k Spectrum that at the time was unbelievably cutting edge. I subsequently owned a Sega Mega Drive and a PlayStation 2, so whilst I would never have regarded myself as a core gamer, I've always had a soft spot for the category. The challenge and excitement of moving to a new, fast moving category that I could personally identify with was too great an opportunity to pass by.

Does any of what you learned at your former non-gaming jobs help you today in EA?

RD: I was fortunate enough to work for a major blue chip company in the UK that supplied fast-moving consumer goods to some of the largest retailers in the country. The greatest learning point that I took me with me into my EA career is that relationships internally and externally are paramount. Ultimately, the best result for all parties is facilitated by people wanting to work with each other, understanding each other's targets, ambitions and working collaboratively. People make things happen.

Who is your biggest inspiration in the business world and why?

RD: I guess there would be two, James Dyson and Steve Jobs. Both created huge innovation and moved the direction of their respective categories into new space. You might even argue they created the categories they exist in today. The focus, drive and ambition required to make their creativity come alive, to overcome all of the obstacles they faced, is truly inspiring.

What is it about you that you feel most people in the industry don't know?

 

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