Keywords Studios appoints new CEO, Novartis’ Bertrand Bodson

20 Sep 2021

Image: © monticellllo/

Bodson will join Keywords Studios from global healthcare firm Novartis, whose digital strategy he oversaw, effective from 1 December.

Dublin-based games developer Keywords Studios has appointed a new CEO to replace outgoing CEO Andrew Day.

The appointment of Bertrand Bodson follows Day’s announcement in June that he had decided to bring forward his retirement plan. Bodson’s appointment as CEO will be effective from 1 December. He will join Keywords from global healthcare firm Novartis, whose digital strategy he oversaw in his role as chief digital officer since 2018.

The 46-year-old will bring 23 years of experience to his new role with the Dublin-headquartered company. His CV includes a four-year stint as chief digital and chief marketing officer at Sainsbury’s Argos, where he led the integration of Argos into the Sainsbury’s store network.

Bodson also had senior roles at EMI Group and Amazon, and he is currently a non-executive director of Tesco and Dutch software publishing company Wolters Kluwer.

He co-founded the now defunct social media video-sharing site Bragster, which encouraged users to post dares. The platform was taken offline in 2010 having been active since 2006.

Commenting on his appointment, which was announced today (20 September), Bodson said: “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.”

“Building on its successful organic and acquisitive growth track record, its inclusive culture, customer focus and unique platform, I’m looking forward to leading the group’s ambitious team to deliver an ever more compelling proposition for this buoyant market, and beyond,” he added.

Ross Graham, chair of Keywords Studios, also expressed his delight at Bodson’s appointment.

“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,” he said. “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.”

Graham thanked Keywords’ joint interim CEOs Jon Hauck and Sonia Sedler, who took over from Day in June. “[They] have ensured the business has continued to go from strength to strength, and [they] look forward to working closely with Bertrand when he joins.”

Graham added that the team was pleased to have attracted “a candidate of Bertrand’s calibre to lead Keywords through the next phase of its development in the video games and adjacent content industries”.

The video games company has had a busy year despite its leadership changes. It announced a spate of acquisitions over the past few months, including Romanian art creation studio AMC, British games developer Climax Studios and Australian developer Tantalus Media.

These deals follow a similarly prolific acquisition spree in 2020.

Keywords Studios has worked with many major video games companies, such as Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft, Riot Games, Square Enix, Supercell, TakeTwo and Tencent since its founding in 1998.

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Blathnaid O’Dea was a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic until 2024.