Wednesday, 24 September 2014

A vote! Should I apply to be GW CEO?

So a while ago I wrote a mock application letter for GW's CEO role. The full letter is here and repeated below. The application information is up, and frankly it's pretty weak. Thanks to BOLS for this information.

The question is, should i send in my application?

Chief Executive, Games Workshop Group PLC: Nottingham, UK
Thursday 18 September, 2014

About the Job

Do you want to run Games Workshop Group PLC?

Are you excited by the challenge of growing our unique business?

You will need to:
Deliver a sustainable increase in return on capital
Have the right people in the right jobs at the right time
Set the operational agenda in agreement with the board and deliver it on time
Keep our owners appropriately informed
Perform the normal legal duties and responsibilities of a director

whilst championing Games Workshop’s culture and ethics.

We know being a chief executive is always hard, but this job is a humdinger!

About Games Workshop

Games Workshop is a business with a strong internal culture which means we have a very definite set of ideas, beliefs and ways of doing business. We believe that how you behave does matter, therefore, we believe that attitudes – such as honesty and integrity – are even more important than skills. We will happily teach you the skills needed for many roles if you bring a great attitude to your work.

Every staff member is dedicated to constantly making things better for our customers, whether this is by providing ever better products or delivering ever greater service. We are hard working, committed and cheerful and above all we put the needs of the business first in our decision-making.

We have a strong culture of personal development at Games Workshop and there are many resources and opportunities for both personal and professional development. If the way you behave at work and the attitudes you display fit with ours, it is highly likely you will be successful, well rewarded and happy. However, it is only fair to say that people who don’t fit with our culture, or who play at fitting, will be unhappy and consequently unsuccessful. You can read more about Games Workshop’s business culture at

Other Essential Information

Closing date: Applications must be received by midnight, UK time, on Friday 10 October 2014.

Interviews: If your application is successful, you must be available for an interview on Friday 7 November 2014, in Nottingham.

How to Apply

Please write a letter telling us why you want this job. No letter, no interview.

Please send your letter to ‘’.

For those of you who missed my application before, here it is in full. 

My new logo for GW, the old one didn't have enough skulls

I am J Vomkrieg and I think I would make a great CEO of Games Workshop.

If your measure of 'great' is that a CEO should be qualified for the role, you may not agree. But if your measure of greatness is someone who will get stuck in, demonstrate passion and promote detailed programmatic specificity, then I am truly greatness incarnate.

My plans for the business are manifold and varied, well beyond the understanding of those who dwell on the internet taking pot shots at the glorious cathedral of dreams that is Games Workshop.

I will continue the de-risking of our business by removing all paid retail staff and replacing our “one man stores” with “no man stores”. Stores will contain giant vending machines that gleefully dispense product to our customer’s parents, with next to no overheads. The centrepiece of each store will be a hologram of Matt Ward that answers every question with a variation of “you should buy some Ultramarines, because Ultramarines are the best”. Putting our creative genius front and centre speaks to the heart of what we are. Am I right?

To help supplement our store we will recruit a legion of volunteers from our fanbase to mind the children, we can pay these volunteers in product and a nice hat…. We could also give them a spiffy title like “battle brother”. I have always admired the Dominion from Deep Space Nine (making a note here to sue Star Trek about the Borg) and how they controlled their clone soldiers with an addictive drug. Our product is so good we can command a legion of fan slaves with it! This makes perfect business sense as it will grow our community presence while further driving down unnecessary costs like wages.

This augurs well for our long term health and cash flow.

I will continue with your mission of spending an indecent amount of money on litigation. Spending indecent amounts of other people’s money is a passion we share. (I feel like I have another brother in you) I have already identified a few key targets that are ripe for the picking. Did you know that Peter Jackson and New Line Cinemas have been making movies based on our Hobbit Game IP? An affront to our creative skills and intellectual domain like this cannot be stomached any longer.

We must fight for our game IP regardless of the cost to our bottom line, our brands and our fans. Everyone must know who is boss! (it’s us right?). Let steal some of our hogs back (Man, I want bacon… does anyone else want bacon?)

You say we spend “far too much money spent on far too little gain” on litigation. I believe this is wrong. Are we not a proud British company? Yes, yes we are, and we should take a leaf out of the book of that great British General Sir Douglas Haig and never give up, never surrender, no matter the cost the Hun must be defeated! Like Haig, we will be heralded as visionaries and leadership for our dogged determination (And I look quite dapper in a Military uniform)(Wait, was that Haig, or Tim Allen?).

I too don’t really understand how 3D printing works and what it means for the world, but I’m sure it’s not a big deal. I have an inkjet printer at home and it sometimes blurs and blotches, so I can’t imagine 3D printing will be very good. Certainly, nothing like the highest standards ever obtained in miniature making, our flawless finecast range, perfect every time. We still do finecast don’t we?

I suggest we ignore 3D printing and try to jump ahead to 4D printing. Being at the cutting edge of the next generation of printing will position our business well for the future, regardless of profits and expenditure now. The last thing we want is to miss the wave as it crests and be smashed on the rocks of obsolescence while our crops wither and die, our dog has a limp and our guinea pigs wheek hopelessly for a nice handful of lettuce. Hungry guinea pigs do not feature in my vision of a successful business, no sir!

The mantra of ‘we recruit for attitude and not for skill’ will remain a cornerstone of my enterprise decision making. However, I pledge to take ignoring CV’s to a whole new level. My hiring policy will be based solely by looking at a picture of the potential candidates. I want a workforce that I can look at and think “these people make miniatures!”, therefore size and styling of beards will be the lynch-pin of my recruitment criteria.

I will also extend the attitude requirement to all our supporting systems. No longer will we ask for detailed requirements from IT suppliers or manufacturers. Anyone who has that GW “twinkle in the eye” (you know the one!) will get a look in. I’ve already arranged for our finances to be handled by this nice chap I met down at the pub last week.

This organisation needs me, it needs someone who can talk to corporate (like a boss), approve memos (like a boss), lead a workshop (like a boss), remember birthdays (like a boss), direct workflow (like a boss), micromanage (like a boss), promote synergy (like a boss) and swallow sadness (like a boss)

So welcome me onboard with open arms and I will lead you to the promised land. On the bright side, we both know GW is too big to fail, so what’s the worst that could happen? And if I don’t get this role I suspect my wife will be livid (she will blame you, and she's on medication, in fact she scares me sometimes, I think she's watching me now....... SEND HELP!).

Oh, and if appointed I will run Games Workshop from my home office in New Zealand. Co-locating corporate leaders is at the heart of the rot in the corporate world. Which reminds me, I will also ban shipping GW products to Australia until the Australian Government issues a formal apology for the underarm incident (Corporates can be used for social good, and this cause is a thing I hold dear).

And no Tom Kirby, you can’t stay on, there ain’t enough room in the shop for both of us. Kirbys cronies will be Vomkriegs cronies, I love cronies. (and it rhymes with ponies).

J Vomkrieg
Future Chairman and Future CEO


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