Beginning of the end

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      Soon after Ken left, we can already seeing Sierra beginning to change:

      November 1997

      Chris McLeod, chief executive officer of CUC Software, responded to last Friday’s departure of Sierra On-line president Mike Broshu by restructuring that company and breaking the business into three units.

      Three former vice presidents – Bill Moore, Scott Lynch, and Randy Dersham – were given the title senior vice president and put in charge of the new units.

      Moore will be responsible for Sierra’s Home Production line, Berkeley Systems line, and all on-line gaming products; Lynch will look after Sierra Northwest, Sierra Oakhurst, and Impressions Software; Dursham will be in charge of all sports-related projects including Papyrus and Front Page Sports products.

      A Sierra spokesperson said there would be no layoffs as a result of the restructuring.

      Broshu, who was with the company for three years, announced his departure to Sierra staffers on Friday, October 24. October 31 was his last day. Broshu moves to Seattle company Primus and assumes the position of president there.

      A Sierra insider said the new structure will address an approval process that was perceived internally to be slow. In so far as CUC Software, Sierra’s owner, having exerted a heavy hand in the reorg process, this person discounted any suggestion of that: “They leave us alone and let us market products as we want. Chris McLeod is very involved but he knows we’re the experts.”

      Then, three products (which had nothing to do with Sierra) were released under the Sierra label in 1997: Stay Tooned, a cartoon game developed by FunnyBone Interactive, a division of Davidson & Associates (another company owned by CUC at the time), Eat My Dust by FunnyBone, and Hellfire: Diablo, which was a property of Blizzard but developed by Synergistic.

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