After an exhaustive search, Ukie has appointed their next CEO to lead the organisation through its next transformational decade.
Nick Poole has been appointed as Ukie CEO and will join from 1st April 2024. Nick Poole has 20 years CEO experience in the cultural and creative industries, driving growth and transformation in professional membership associations with a particular strength in governmental engagement and building mission and purpose.
Over the last 8 years Nick has been CEO at CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) where he has been pivotal making the professional body the critical go-to resource for the libraries and information sector. He has grown the organisation to meet the needs of the next generation of users and led a programme of profound change focused on public purpose, resources, best practice, and digitalisation.
Under his leadership CILIP membership has grown to 10,000 paying members, 161 institutional members and 19 university partners in the UK and internationally. He has also led a series of initiatives to diversify the membership group, including improving the gender balance, and dedicated offerings for those from BAME and LGBTQ+ communities. Nick’s wealth of experience in implementing policy and influencing change in Government means CILIP has enjoyed an impressive public and political profile.
Prior to CILIP, Nick was CEO of the Collections Trust where, again, he led a serious transformation, overhauling the international standard for museums. He secured £70m worth of funding from Government, growing membership significantly, and income threefold.
Nick also comes with a broad non-executive director portfolio. He is an industry representative on the Government Media Literacy Taskforce, where he works with tech companies to develop approaches to combat misinformation and keep young people safe online. He has served as Chair of Wikimedia UK, the UK chapter of the global Wikipedia community. He has also served as an expert advisor for the National Digitisation Programmes and a UK representative for the European Commission.
Nick is a strong believer in the power of games and has seen first-hand the power of video games to change peoples’ lives for the better. He first learnt to code by programming games and has a genuine passion for the sector. He has commissioned games in the past for educational purposes and has also had previous touchpoints with Ukie’s Digital Schoolhouse, looking to roll this out across libraries. He sees great potential for growth in Ukie and brings a strong track record of leading and successfully growing professional bodies and trade associations.
Nick is also passionate about playing games. His favourite games are Minecraft, where he hosts a Realms Server for his family and friends, the Halo series and Fallout 4. He also enjoys retro gaming, discovering indie titles on Steam and has taken his first tentative steps into the world of No Mans Sky.
Ukie Chair, Tim Woodley said:
“The selection committee and the wider Board were adamant that we were going take the time to seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity, and to conduct an exhaustive search for the right person to help grow Ukie through the next decade as it continues to drive the UK games industry to hitherto unimagined heights and embraces its new-found legitimacy within the corridors of power.
Ukie as an organisation is still largely the same size, shape and structure as it was when the industry was half the size it is today, so the time is ripe for fresh eyes to take the brakes off and build on the solid foundations which Jo established. After a rigorous six month process, we are thrilled that we have found in Nick the right combination of CEO experience, a growth driver, a heavyweight lobbyist and an acute sense of how to lead an organisation with mission, purpose and equality.
I'd like to thank our interim co-CEOs, Sam Collins and Dan Wood, and the whole of the Ukie team for not missing a beat during this period and affording us the requisite time to get this appointment right for the long-term good of the organisation and of the industry.”
Nick Poole said:
"I could not be more excited to take up the role of CEO of Ukie at this pivotal moment for the UK’s video games and interactive entertainment industry.
Video games and interactive entertainment is a great UK success story. From the very large to the very small, the UK is proud to be home to many of the world’s most creative, innovative and dynamic video game companies. With an estimated value in excess of £7bn per annum, UK video games should be recognised not only as an economic powerhouse, but also a vital driver of education, creativity and innovation. Video games are serious business, and I am looking forward to bringing my experience in growing professional membership associations and in Government liaison to help secure the recognition and investment it deserves.
I would like to acknowledge the leadership of Dr Jo Twist, Tim Woodley and the Ukie Board as well as Sam Collins, Dan Wood and Ukie’s dedicated team, who have positioned Ukie perfectly to take a leading role as we look ahead to this exciting new era.”
Nick will be joining the Ukie team on 1st April 2024. In the interim period, Daniel Wood and Sam Collins will continue to operate as acting co-CEOs.
Approved headshots to use for Nick Poole can be found here.