Bing Gordon, the chief creative officer at Electronic Arts Inc., will leave the video game company after 26 years to become a partner at premier venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
As one of EA’s first employees, Gordon helped shape the Redwood City, Calif., company’s path to becoming the world’s largest game publisher. Gordon started in the marketing department, then moved to the creative side of the company, where he formed and ran studios, recruited developers and helped design games.
“I’ve done everything that I wanted to do in games and more,” Gordon said. “My epiphany happened as I was arriving home after dropping my daughter off at college. I thought, wouldn’t it be cool to do something scary and new and exciting?”
As a partner with Menlo Park, Calif.-based Kleiner Perkins, Gordon plans to lead investments in start-ups that could benefit from his experience in the game industry. But he won’t focus exclusively on game makers.
“I’d like to take the thinking behind video game design and help a new generation of entrepreneurs make cool new stuff,” Gordon said.
“I have this thesis that video game design thinking is going to change advertising, entertainment, communications, media and telephony. People are growing up with brains wired differently because they played ‘The Sims,’ ‘Madden Football’ and ‘Pokemon.’ It’s just a wildly interesting time.”
Gordon, 58, holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Yale University and a master’s in business administration from Stanford University. He is a visiting lecturer at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, where he helped design a game development curriculum.
Gordon follows in the footsteps of John Riccitiello, who left as president at EA in 2004 to join private equity firm Elevation Partners.
Riccitiello returned to EA last year.