Take-Two: Eibeler Ousted

Take-Two: Eibeler Ousted

Prominent shareholders aiming to oust Take-Two’s board of directors were successful today, according to a statement from the publisher; former CEO Paul Eibeler being "transitioned" in an orderly fashion.

Following today’s annual shareholder meeting, Strauss Zelnick, Ben Feder, Jon J. Moses, Michael Dornemann, Michael James Sheresky and John Levy, an incumbent, were all installed as board members. Another incumbent, Grover Brown, was also elected following the board meeting. Both Brown and Levy are independents.

Zelnick took over as Take-Two’s new chairman. He’s the founding partner of ZelnickMedia, and Take-Two’s statement credits him for turning around Columbia Music Entertainment of Japan and Time-Life. He’s also former CEO of BMG Entertainment as well as developer Crystal Dynamics. He also previously served as president and COO of 20th Century Fox.

Zelnick stated, "Take-Two has exceptional brands and creative resources, and we are thrilled to be able to work with the many talented people within the company. The new Board plans to put in place strategies designed to revitalize Take-Two, focus on supporting and enhancing its creative output, improve its margins and ensure that the 2007 release pipeline meets expectations. We are here to maximize the value of Take-Two for shareholders, for game consumers, and for the Company’s employees."

Feder, who served previously as a senior exec at News Corp. and a current partner with ZelnickMedia, will become acting CEO replacing Eibeler. Take-Two’s statement said, "The Board is working with Paul Eibeler, former CEO and President of Take-Two, to ensure an orderly and effective transition."

Along with Eibeler, Oliver Grace, Robert Flug and Mark Lewis were removed from the board of directors. CFO Karl Winters is still under the microscope, as Zelnick told reporters, "We’ll be looking into the situation in the finance department," according to Bloomberg.

Members of the new board have served with companies including Bertelsmann AG, UGO Networks and William Morris Agency.

A shareholder group representing about 46 percent of Take-Two shares initiated the management takeover. OppenheimerFunds Inc., S.A.C. Capital Management, Tudor Investment Corp., D.E. Shaw Valence Portfolios and ZelnickMedia participated in the ousting.