GamesIndustry.biz reports Pitchford will be handing the role of President to Steve Jones; the former Chief Technology Officer, and 22 year employee. He has also the technical director on Borderlands and Borderlands 2.
Pitchford will reportedly be focusing on his duties as CEO and President of Gearbox Entertainment; the parent company to Gearbox Software and Gearbox Publishing. Gearbox Entertainment was acquired by the Embracer Group in April 2021.
In addition, Pitchford becomes the President of the newly-formed Gearbox Studios. That company will handle Gearbox’ ventures into film and TV; including the upcoming Borderlands movie. Nonetheless, Pitchford will continue to “lend his institutional knowledge of Gearbox brands and franchises.”
Pitchford has been a somewhat controversial figure within the company. In 2013, an anonymous Gear box employee claimed that the company had taken money from Sega (intended for the development of Aliens: Colonial Marines) and used it on Borderlands, Borderlands 2, and Duke Nukem Forever. Gearbox also allegedly outsourced many elements of the game’s development, without notifying Sega.
In late 2018, Pitchford sued Gearbox’s former executive counsel Wade Callender over claims that he had used company credit cards for personal expenses, and destroyed evidence that the studio funded a home loan of $300,000. Callender countersued in December of that year, accusing Pitchford of leaving a USB drive containing corporate documents and underage pornography at a Medieval Times Restaurant.
The accusations Callender made in a suit in January 2019 included the claims that he was harassed for his Christian faith, and that Pitchford had funneled $12 million USD from the studio. This money was intended to be bonuses for staff of Borderlands, and allegedly went to his personal company “Pitchford Entertainment Media & Magic.”
In August, Callender then accused Pitchford of contempt of court, claiming he hid documents that were previously requested by the court. The case was finally settled in October 2019, with the court stating “the evidence exonerated Randy Pitchford from the allegations against him.”
Pitchford, along with Gearbox and Valve, were also sued by composer Bobby Prince in October 2019 for allegedly using his music without his permission in Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour. Finally, anonymous Gearbox employees (as well as those close to them) accused management and Pitchford of denying royalty bonuses for Borderlands 3.