VP Studio Operations

Studio Management London, London

At NaturalMotion, we make games that wow people. We innovate to create experiences that previously were impossible and that would not exist without us. We take pride in making titles that reach a large audience and in creating communities that last.

You are ambitious, intelligent, and intellectually curious. You are a self-disciplined problem-solver, who is respectful and straightforward with all your colleagues. You are trusting and trusted, flexible and emotionally mature, and you thrive on working with people who share these values.

As VP Studio Operations, you will have a clear understanding of your leadership style and its impact on others, and be able to use a range of directive and non-directive leadership skills to get the best from your team.

You will balance delivering results with caring for the needs of your team. You will motivate and guide others to excellence, acting as a role model for organisational, technical, and creative skills, whilst showing others ‘what good looks like’.

You will confidently and respectfully challenge the status quo in order to improve things. Assertive when needed, you ensure the requirements of your team and your business are met by stakeholders at all levels. Confident in your decision making, you nevertheless think carefully before you speak and act.

The Role

Reporting directly to the SVP of NaturalMotion with stakeholders ranging from Senior Leaders (C-Level) in Zynga and Game Team GM’s / EP’s, this is a commercial and operations driven role with significant people leadership and business planning responsibilities.

Providing leadership and guidance across a number of the business’ most critical functions, the role holder will provide both strategic and operational leadership to help drive future growth and financial performance of NaturalMotion.

Reporting Team scope:
Director of QA
Director of Analytics
Studio Support / Admin teams

Partner Teams:
Game GM’s / EP’s (x2 Live, x2 in Concept / Pre-production)
People Operations (HR & Recruitment) Director
Finance Director (EMEA)
Marketing Director
VP Analytics
VP Operations

Key Responsibilities:

  • Be a leader the studio and become the ‘right-hand’ of the Studio SVP. You will be responsible for leading the execution and continued refinement of the overall business strategy - together with a highly experienced Senior Management Team.
  • Support and advise each of the GM’s on the studio’s overall P&L plus leadership to ensure their continued success and future growth of their projects.
  • Validation of operational delivery. Partner the EP’s through questioning and support to help Identify & resolve issues and provide thoughtful challenges with the product roadmaps. Support production success and high quality QA / submission.
  • Owning the submission, and execution, of NaturalMotion’s business plan for the quarterly forecasting cycle – Pulling together, critically assessing and helping to refine plans from each team and then ensuring delivery against the goals set.
  • Work with the SVP to maintain the rolling 3-year business plan, with specific regard to driving business goals and long term staff planning.
  • Facilitate the sharing of development best practices and knowledge within the game teams and across discipline crafts.
  • Identify, set up and operationalise partnerships with 3rd Party studios for external development and studio expansion / flexibility.
  • Leadership of Studio Admin teams to ensure studio environment is world class.
  • Work with central operational business and publishing partners such as HR, Finance, IT, Marketing, Corporate Development, Analytics, Technology, ExDev and Legal to ensure alignment, ownership and delivery of the studio goals across all support / team functions.
  • Continue to build the NaturalMotion brand, fostering our culture and building AAA mobile gaming experiences.
  • Bring Leadership values to life: Drive, Straightforwardness and Trust.
Essential Experience:
  • A track record of operational leadership and/or general management roles ideally in PVP / MMO Gaming businesses.
  • Held Senior level roles that touch on running live (Games or Tech) services and product management/development, ideally (but not essential) within US led businesses.
  • Significant experience of P&L ownership and business financial / forecasting processes.
  • Strong “coaching” ability able to support senior / experienced leaders to make key decisions around their products.
  • Experienced with software project management practices including Agile, Scrum, Kanban.
  • Comfortable working with other discipline experts (for example QA and Analytics leaders), to effectively support Game leaders to execute on world-class / AAA Mobile gaming experiences
  • Examples of successfully implementing operational best practices to professionalise business processes.
  • Experience working in both growth environments and established companies, with evidence of having contributed to medium and long-term strategic decision-making.
  • Track record of building and motivating high-performing teams; with first-class service/delivery ingrained in company culture.
  • Comfortable and experienced in managing by influence as well as within specific ownership areas.
  • Experience of working within larger corporate, International or US led businesses.
  • Strong International experience – worked in international roles and ability to successfully engage with teams from different cultures.
  • Strong analytical skills, data-driven decision maker.
What do we give you?
  • The opportunity to join a contributory pension scheme
  • Zynga Stock Unit allocation from day one
  • Private healthcare
  • Life insurance
  • Critical illness cover
  • 6 months fully paid maternity and 3 months fully paid paternity leave
  • Flexible working hours
  • Free fruit & soft drinks
  • 23 days holiday + studio closed for 3 days at Christmas
  • Casual dress every day!
  • The opportunity to join the childcare voucher and cycle to work schemes we run
  • Summer/Christmas parties and Happy Hour in every Studio, every Friday.
  • A discretionary annual bonus