France

Yves Guillemot, CEO and Co-founder, Ubisoft

Over 30 years ago, five brothers in a small, provincial town in France founded what would become one of the world’s largest publicly traded games company: Ubisoft. The idea came about when Yves Guillemot and his brother Michel were in the United Kingdom and discovered that video games were much cheaper than they were in France. They started to import games, eventually distributing to major retailers. As the sector continued to grow, they decided to publish and create their own video games — a veritable game changer for the company.

Ubisoft games have now become household names, acclaimed for their quality and creativity and played by fans across the world. Franchises include Assassin’s Creed and Tom Clancy’s. Their popularity is played out in their impressive financial figures: total annual sales of US$1.95b for 2017–18, up 18.6% year on year.

Guillemot, as CEO of the company, has become a widely respected figurehead in the industry. He has steered Ubisoft through the many technology disruptions of the last three decades and has become a hero for his fierce protection of Ubisoft’s independence, winning against two hostile takeover bids.

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