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Xsolla has appointed Konstantin Golubitsky as CEO to accelerate the company’s growth as a payment and commerce provider for video games.
Xsolla is elevating Golubitsky, previously the chief technology officer at Xsolla, to the top position after a decade as the company’s CTO. The company started in Perm, Russia, and it has expanded to numerous locations such as Los Angeles.
Golubitsky will focus on strategies to bolster the platform’s position in video game commerce, strengthen company culture, and build on Xsolla’s history of innovation. The company culture part is important as the previous CEO Shurick Aleksandr Agapitov fired 150 employees after doing a data analysis of their activity. The incident was condemned for the callous manner the CEO used in his firing letter.
HR experts criticized Agapitov’s tone as well as his reliance on analysis of network time as a way to measure employee productivity and firing folks who came up lacking. I asked Golubitsky about that incident, and he sent an email reply through his PR folks.
“While layoffs are never easy, what excites me about this role is the opportunity to lead Xsolla in its next phase of growth,” Golubitsky said in the email. “It’s an amazing chance to build upon the work we’ve done over the last decade. We’re focused on the future and creating products and services that contribute to a growing global video game economy.”
He added, “Video game consumption is at an all-time high and, while the past two years of a pandemic have been challenging, Xsolla is fortunate to not only survive but to thrive during these shifting times. I’m thrilled to have this opportunity at this time in our history.”
I asked what he would do about the culture. He replied, “At Xsolla, we understand that culture is important. We’re working hard to create a culture that is transparent and fair. As upper management, our responsibility is to support teams while the company grows. To ensure this level of transparency we are working on implementing internal systems to set goals and help everyone clearly understand how to succeed and be rewarded at the company.”
The company has 500 employees.
Golubitsky has helped develop and launch over 20 new commerce products and services during his tenure over 10 years. He also recently completed the executive education program at Harvard Business School.
I asked him what his priorities are.
“From my perspective, our core product growth is key to future success. Xsolla will continue to build better, more technologically advanced products and services, and accelerate new commerce opportunities for mobile game developers,” Golubitsky said. “We listen closely to what our partners need and are launching a new version of our flagship payments product, Xsolla Pay Station, later this year. This includes additional focus and support on mobile platforms.”
He said the company also plans to bring more investors and game developers to Xsolla Game Investment Platform, which will create more opportunities for indie and mid-tier studios to connect with investors and get the funding they need.
Golubitsky said these improvements have attracted enterprise partners including Epic Games, NetEase, Nexters, Roblox Corporation, Twitch, and Ubisoft to partner with the company and expand their global commerce footprint with more than 700 payment methods in over 200 regions around the world.
Xsolla owner and founder Agapitov will focus on Web 3 activities.
“I’ve worked closely with Konstantin over the last decade to build Xsolla, and I am confident he will provide the leadership the company needs at this stage of growth,” said Agapitov, in a statement. “And with Konstantin at the helm, I’ll be able to focus on future innovations for Xsolla and the gaming industry.”
I also asked Golubitsky about the company’s metaverse opportunity. He said, “We have several big projects underway; however, we first need to settle into the new structure. Xsolla’s owner and founder, Shurick Agapitov, will continue to advise me during the transition and lead the charge on upcoming Web 3.0 opportunities. More to come on that shortly.”
He said the company still monitors the impact of things like Apple’s focus on privacy over targeted advertising, as well as the effects of the Epic v. Apple lawsuit. (We’re exploring that in a webinar today at 10 am Pacific time.)
Xsolla has created a Web Shop for Mobile Games. He said it gives developers the ability to create custom stores and form direct relationships with players. This means their acquisition and monetization efforts are no longer impacted by other platforms’ restrictions.
Golubitsky said the company is beefing up its presence in existing markets through our regional offices in South Korea and German. It is also establishing presences in key emerging markets such as China, the Middle East, and other locations.
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