Pathfinder Publisher Paizo Has New President

Paizo, the publisher of popular tabletop games Pathfinder and Starfinder, have announced they have a new president. Jim Butler, previously the company's Vice President of Marketing and Licensing, was named the president this week. Butler started his career as a game designer and writer of Dungeons & Dragons adventures. He switched to the business side of the gaming industry after Wizards of the Coast founder Peter Adkison said he wanted "gamers with business degrees" involved with his company. Butler will manage the daily activities of Paizo, while also planning for the company's future.

"I have had the pleasure of working closely with Jim from his days at TSR through his time working on Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition at Wizards of the Coast, and now working with me at Paizo," Paizo CEO Lisa Stevens said in a press release announcing Butler's promotion. "Jim is a hardworking visionary whose almost three decades of game experience makes him the perfect person to guide Paizo into its third decade."

"I'm grateful for the trust that Lisa and the Leadership Team have placed in me to lead Paizo," Butler said in the same press release. "I look forward to working with my fellow employees to lead the company into the next era of tabletop excellence."

Paizo started as a magazine publisher whose primary work included managing the monthly Dragon magazine for Wizards of the Coast. When Wizards of the Coast started plans to update Dungeons & Dragons to a new edition, Paizo published its own Pathfinder tabletop game, which used a modified ruleset from D&D 3.5. In 2019, Paizo updated Pathfinder to Second Edition, streamlining combat while retaining the numerous character build choices players have come to expect. 

Previous Paizo president Jeff Alvarez stepped down from the position citing health reasons after a nearly two year stint in the position. It is unclear if Alvarez will remain involved with Paizo in any capacity. 

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Butler remains an active gamer and is currently a participant in two separate Pathfinder campaigns. Butler plays as a kobold druid in a Pathfinder 1E Rise of the Runelords campaign, while he GMs an Extinction Curse campaign for Pathfinder 2E.