Tom Kalinske

Last updated
Tom Kalinske
Born (1944-07-17) July 17, 1944 (age 74)
Iowa
Nationality American
Occupation Executive Chairman of Global Education Learning
Known for Sega of America, Inc.
Spouse(s)Karen Kalinske

Thomas "Tom" Kalinske (born July 17, 1944) is an American businessman, best known as having worked for Mattel 1972-87, reviving the Barbie & Hot Wheels Brands, launching Masters of the Universe, then being promoted to CEO of Mattel from 1985 to 1987. Next he was CEO of Matchbox, and then was recruited to be the president and CEO of Sega of America, Inc. from 1990 to 1996, and the CEO and COB of Leapfrog 1997-2006. His aggressive marketing decisions during his time at Sega, such as price drops, anti-Nintendo attack ads, and the famous "Sega Scream" TV campaign, are often cited as key elements in the success of the Genesis video game console. He is currently the Executive Chairman of Global Education Learning, a company dedicated to children's education in China.

<i>Masters of the Universe</i> US media franchise

Masters of the Universe is a media franchise created by Mattel. The main premise revolves around the conflict between the heroic He-Man, against the evil sorcerer Skeletor on the planet Eternia, with a vast line-up of supporting characters in a hybrid setting of medieval sword and sorcery and sci-fi technology. A spin-off series, with a similar premise, She-Ra, Princess Of Power, features He-Man's sister, She-Ra, and her struggle against the Evil Horde on the planet Etheria. Since its initial launch, the franchise has spawned a variety of products, including multiple lines of action figures, five animated television series, several comic series, video games, a daily newspaper comic strip, and two feature films.

Mattel American toy company

Mattel, Inc. is an American multinational toy manufacturing company founded in 1945 with headquarters in El Segundo, California. The products and brands it produces include Fisher-Price, Barbie, Monster High, Ever After High, Polly Pocket, Hot Wheels and Matchbox, Masters of the Universe, American Girl, board games, and WWE. In the early 1980s, Mattel produced video game systems, under its own brands and under license from Nintendo. The company has presence in 40 countries and territories and sells products in more than 150 countries. The company operates through three business segments: North America, international, and American Girl. It is the world's second largest toy maker in terms of revenue, after The Lego Group. In 2014, it ranked #403 on the Fortune 500 list. On January 17, 2017, Mattel named former Google executive Margo Georgiadis as CEO. Georgiadis stepped down as CEO of Mattel on April 19, 2018. Her last day was on April 26, 2018. Ynon Kreiz is now the new CEO of Mattel.

Sega Japanese video game developer and publisher and subsidiary of Sega Sammy Holdings

Sega Games Co., Ltd. is a Japanese multinational video game developer and publisher headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. The company, previously known as Sega Enterprises Ltd. and Sega Corporation, is a subsidiary of Sega Holdings Co., Ltd., which is part of Sega Sammy Holdings. Its international branches, Sega of America and Sega of Europe, are respectively headquartered in Irvine, California and London. Sega's arcade division, once part of Sega Corporation, has existed as Sega Interactive Co., Ltd., also a Sega Holdings subsidiary, since 2015.

Contents

Career

Kalinske's education includes a bachelor of science degree at the University of Wisconsin in 1966, an MBA at the University of Arizona in 1968, and attending the Strategic Management Harvard Business School in 1976.

University of Arizona public university in Tucson, Arizona, United States

The University of Arizona is a public research university in Tucson, Arizona. Founded in 1885, the UA was the first university in the Arizona Territory. As of 2017, the university enrolls 44,831 students in 19 separate colleges/schools, including the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson and Phoenix and the James E. Rogers College of Law, and is affiliated with two academic medical centers. The University of Arizona is governed by the Arizona Board of Regents. The University of Arizona is one of the elected members of the Association of American Universities and is the only representative from the state of Arizona to this group.

Harvard Business School business school in Boston, Massachusetts

Harvard Business School (HBS) is the graduate business school of Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts. The school offers a large full-time MBA program, doctoral programs, HBS Online and many executive education programs. It owns Harvard Business Publishing, which publishes business books, leadership articles, online management tools for corporate learning, case studies and the monthly Harvard Business Review. It is home to the Baker Library/Bloomberg Center.

Previously, Kalinske was CEO and Chairman of educational toy company, Leapfrog, which grew to over $600M in revenue becoming the largest education toy company in the US. He was President of Knowledge Universe, a company that Mike Milken and Larry Ellison each invested $250 million into for the purpose of using technology to improve education. According to Oregon Business magazine in 2011, the company was "the largest single private provider of early childhood education services in the country", with 40,000 employees on three continents and the biggest market share in the United Kingdom, Malaysia and Singapore. [1] Many education companies came out of Knowledge Universe, including LeapFrog (NYSE:LF), K-12 (NASDAQ:LRN), Knowledge Beginnings (the largest chain of preschools in the US), Spring Plc, and Vistage (Executive Education).

While Kalinske was CEO of Sega of America the company grew from $72 million to more than $1.5 billion and the market value of Sega grew from less than $2 billion to more than $5 billion.[ citation needed ] His market strategies have been cited as the key factor in breaking Nintendo's dominance of the video game industry. [2] [3] The Genesis and Game Gear systems were highly successful during this time. Later the commercial failure of the Sega Saturn video game console in the US was exacerbated by Sega's announcement during E3 1995 that the system was available in selected stores effective immediately instead of on the planned date of September 2, 1995, which had been dubbed “Saturnday”. Kalinske was generally completely against releasing the Saturn early, but was forced to do so by Sega Enterprises, Ltd. With few games and consoles in stock, the pre-selected retailers simply weren’t ready to begin distributing the machine, and those left out of the loop were so offended by this move that they refused to distribute the Saturn at all. [4]

Nintendo Japanese video game company

Nintendo Co., Ltd. is a Japanese multinational consumer electronics and video game company headquartered in Kyoto. Nintendo is one of the world's largest video game companies by market capitalization, creating some of the best-known and top-selling video game franchises, such as Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Pokémon.

Sega Saturn video game console

The Sega Saturn is a 32-bit fifth-generation home video game console developed by Sega and released on November 22, 1994 in Japan, May 11, 1995 in North America, and July 8, 1995 in Europe. The successor to the successful Sega Genesis, the Saturn has a dual-CPU architecture and eight processors. Its games are in CD-ROM format, and its game library contains several arcade ports as well as original games.

Kalinske was not a fan of the Saturn's architecture, and was later quoted saying that he believed no one would be able to successfully market the console. [5] After having tendered his resignation from Sega on July 15, 1996, [6] :549 to take effect on September 30, [3] Isao Okawa, who owned Sega at the time via CSK, reached out to him and invited him to work with the Okawa Foundation. [7] Kalinske remained on Sega's board of directors following his resignation. [3]

Isao Okawa was a Japanese businessman and the former Chairman of Sega.

On July 11, 2006, Kalinske gave an exclusive interview to Sega-16 via an hour long telephone conversation, reflecting back on his Sega days. [8] Tom is quoted several times in IGN's 2009 article "IGN Presents the History of SEGA", [9] and extensively in interview excerpts in The Ultimate History of Video Games by Steven Kent. [6]

Kalinske served on the board of directors of the Toy Manufacturers of America for twelve years. [10] He served on the Board of Blackboard 2005-2012. He currently serves on the Board of Cambium Learning Group, the Board of Genyous (a cancer drug development company), and the Board of WCEPS (Wisconsin Center for Educational Products & Services). He is Emeritus Advisor to both the UW Business School and University of Arizona Eller School of Management, and is Vice Chairman of LeapFrog Inc.[ citation needed ]

Legacy

Blake J. Harris's book Console Wars , released in May 2014, is a retelling of Tom Kalinske's efforts to overthrow Nintendo. The story is formulated in a third person narrative which was assembled based on more than two hundred interviews carried out by the author with former Sega and Nintendo employees. A documentary from the book's author is in production, originally the book was supposed to be adapted by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg as a feature film, however it will instead be adapted as a limited television series with Rogen and Goldberg still attached. [11]

For his work at Mattel, Universal Matchbox, Sega, and Leapfrog, Kalinske was a 1997 inductee into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame. [10] He has received the NYC Boy Scout's Good Scout Award, [12] the Starlight Foundation Man of Year Award, the University of Wisconsin Business Partners "Distinguished Fellow" Award, and the Video Software Dealers Man of Year Award.[ citation needed ]

Related Research Articles

Nintendo 64 64-bit video game console produced by Nintendo in 1996

The Nintendo 64, stylized as NINTENDO64 and abbreviated as N64, is Nintendo's third home video game console for the international market. Named for its 64-bit central processing unit, it was released in June 1996 in Japan, September 1996 in North America and Brazil, March 1997 in Europe and Australia, and September 1997 in France. It is the last major home console to use the cartridge as its primary storage format until Nintendo's seventh console, the Nintendo Switch, released in 2017. The console was discontinued in mid-2002 following the launch of its successor, the GameCube, in 2001. It is the first Nintendo console to feature true 3D effects. Super Mario 64 and Pilotwings 64 were made to show this off, as seen in the 3D Mario environment.

PlayStation (console) Fifth-generation and first home video game console developed by Sony Interactive Entertainment

The PlayStation is a home video game console developed and marketed by Sony Computer Entertainment. The console was released on 3 December 1994 in Japan, 9 September 1995 in North America, 29 September 1995 in Europe, and 15 November 1995 in Australia. The console was the first of the PlayStation lineup of home video game consoles. It primarily competed with the Nintendo 64 and the Sega Saturn as part of the fifth generation of video game consoles.

32X add-on for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis video game console

The 32X is an add-on for the Sega Genesis video game console. Codenamed "Project Mars", the 32X was designed to expand the power of the Genesis and serve as a transitional console into the 32-bit era until the release of the Sega Saturn. Independent of the Genesis, the 32X uses its own ROM cartridges and has its own library of games. The add-on was distributed under the name Super 32X in Japan, Genesis 32X in North America, Mega Drive 32X in the PAL region, and Mega 32X in Brazil.

The Sega VR is a virtual reality headset that was under development by Sega. Versions were planned for arcades and consoles, but only the arcade version was released, while the home console versions were cancelled.

Dreamcast video game console

The Dreamcast is a home video game console released by Sega on November 27, 1998 in Japan, September 9, 1999 in North America, and October 14, 1999 in Europe. It was the first in the sixth generation of video game consoles, preceding Sony's PlayStation 2, Nintendo's GameCube and Microsoft's Xbox. The Dreamcast was Sega's final home console, marking the end of the company's 18 years in the console market.

A video game console is a computer device that outputs a video signal or visual image to display a video game that one or more people can play.

The video game crash of 1983 was a large-scale recession in the video game industry that occurred from 1983 to 1985, primarily in North America. The crash was attributed to several factors, including market saturation in the number of game consoles and available games, and waning interest in console games in favor of personal computers. Revenues peaked at around $3.2 billion in 1983, then fell to around $100 million by 1985. The crash was a serious event which abruptly ended what is retrospectively considered the second generation of console video gaming in North America.

Master System video game console

The Sega Master System (SMS) is a third-generation home video game console manufactured by Sega. It was originally a remodeled export version of the Sega Mark III, the third iteration of the SG-1000 series of consoles, which was released in Japan in 1985 and featured enhanced graphical capabilities over its predecessors. The Master System launched in North America in 1986, followed by Europe in 1987, and Brazil in 1989. A Japanese version of the Master System was also launched in 1987, which has additional features over the Mark III and other regional variants of the console, namely a built-in FM audio chip, a rapid-fire switch and a dedicated port for the 3D glasses. A cost-reduced model known as the Master System II was released in 1990 in North America and Europe.

The fifth-generation era refers to computer and video games, video game consoles, and handheld gaming consoles dating from approximately 1993 to 2002. For home consoles, the best-selling console was the PlayStation (PS) by a wide margin, followed by the Nintendo 64 (N64), and then the Sega Saturn. The PlayStation also had a redesigned version, the PSOne, which was launched in July 2000.

LeapFrog Enterprises an educational entertainment company

LeapFrog Enterprises Inc is an educational entertainment and electronics company based in Emeryville, California. LeapFrog designs, develops, and markets technology-based learning products and related content for the education of children from infancy through grade school. The company was founded by Michael Wood and Robert Lally in 1994. John Barbour is the chief executive officer of LeapFrog.

1983 has seen many sequels and prequels in video games and several new titles such as Mario Bros., Pole Position II and Spy Hunter.

1996 has seen many sequels and prequels in video games and several new titles such as Blazing Heroes, Super Mario 64, NiGHTS into Dreams..., Crash Bandicoot, Resident Evil, Dead or Alive, Duke Nukem 3D and Tomb Raider.

Sega Genesis Fourth-generation home video game console and fourth developed by Sega

The Sega Genesis, known as the Mega Drive in regions outside of North America, is a 16-bit home video game console developed and sold by Sega. The Genesis was Sega's third console and the successor to the Master System. Sega released the console as the Mega Drive in Japan in 1988, followed by North America as the Genesis in 1989. In 1990, the console was distributed as the Mega Drive by Virgin Mastertronic in Europe, Ozisoft in Australasia, and Tec Toy in Brazil. In South Korea, the systems were distributed by Samsung as the Super Gam*Boy and later the Super Aladdin Boy.

Hayao Nakayama is a Japanese businessman and was the former President and CEO of Sega Enterprises, Ltd from 1983 to 1999.

<i>Console Wars</i> (book) 2014 book by Blake J. Harris

Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle That Defined a Generation is a 2014 non-fiction novel written by Blake J. Harris. It follows businessman Tom Kalinske in his venture as CEO of video game company Sega of America, and details the history of the fierce business competition between Sega and Nintendo throughout the 1990s as well as the internal conflicts that took place between Sega of America and Sega of Japan. Harris wrote the book in the style of a novel by compiling several interviews with people who were involved with the events, using the information gathered to create a dramatic interpretation of the events. A film adaptation of the book directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg was announced in February 2014, which has since transitioned to a limited television series.

Electronic Entertainment Expo 1995 event

The Electronic Entertainment Expo 1995, commonly known as E3 1995, was the first Electronic Entertainment Expo held. The event took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center from May 11-13, 1995, with 50,000 total attendees. Highlights of the 1995 show include Sony's announcement of the PlayStation's release date and pricing, Sega's surprise launch of the Sega Saturn, and Nintendo's showcase of the Virtual Boy console.

History of Sega

The history of Sega, a Japanese multinational video game developer and publisher, spans from 1960 to the present day, with roots back to Standard Games in 1940 and Service Games of Japan in the 1950s. The formation of the company is traced back to the founding of Nihon Goraku Bussan, which became known as Sega Enterprises, Ltd. following acquisition of Rosen Enterprises. Sega began developing coin-operated games in 1966 with Periscope. In 1969 Gulf and Western Industries bought Sega, which continued its successful arcade-game business.

On December 7, 1993, and March 5, 1994, members of the combined United States Senate Committees on Governmental Affairs and the Judiciary held congressional hearings with several spokespersons for companies in the video game industry including Nintendo and Sega, involving violence in video games and the perceived impacts on children. The hearing was a result of concerns raised by members of the public on the 1993 releases of Night Trap and Mortal Kombat for home consoles. Besides general concerns related to violence in video games, the situation had been inflamed by a moral panic over gun violence, as well as the state of the industry and an intense rivalry between Sega and Nintendo.

References

  1. Baker, Linda (January 27, 2011). Leah Nash, photographer. "Knowledge Universe reaches $1.6 billion in revenue". Oregon Business. Archived from the original on February 7, 2011. Retrieved September 15, 2014.
  2. "75 Power Players: The American". Next Generation . No. 11. Imagine Media. November 1995. p. 57. His job was to try and beat Nintendo. ... And he did it by getting in first, being ultra competitive on price, offering upgrade paths, dragging videogaming (kicking and screaming) through the doors of some cool ad agencies and introducing the world to Sonic the Hedgehog. ... under Kalinske, Sega proved that the gaming market ain't a one-horse town.
  3. 1 2 3 "Sega's President Resigns, New Team Quickly in Place". GamePro . No. 97. IDG. October 1996. pp. 24, 26.
  4. "Sega-16 – Tom Kalinske: American Samurai".
  5. Journal, Jim Carlton and David P. HamiltonStaff Reporters of The Wall Street. "Sega Hopes Its Dreamcast Can End A Nightmare of Mistakes, Infighting". WSJ.
  6. 1 2 Kent, Steven L. (2001). The Ultimate History of Video Games: The Story Behind the Craze that Touched our Lives and Changed the World. Roseville, California: Prima Publishing. ISBN   0-7615-3643-4. OCLC   47254175.
  7. SegaBits Podcast on YouTube
  8. "Sega-16 – Interview: Tom Kalinske (Former CEO of Sega of America)".
  9. Travis Fahs (April 21, 2009). "IGN Presents the History of SEGA". IGN.
  10. 1 2 "Inductees". Toy Industry Association, Inc. Retrieved September 15, 2014.
  11. Otterson, Joe; Otterson, Joe (28 November 2018). "Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg to Produce 'Console Wars' as Limited Series".
  12. "At the Deadline". GamePro (62). IDG. September 1994. p. 162.