SALT LAKE CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--THE VOID, the critically acclaimed immersive entertainment company, today announced significant expansions to its executive bench with the appointment of entertainment industry veterans Andrew Darrow as Chief Strategy and Business Development Officer, Jeff Ruggels as Chief Financial Officer, along with customer experience and loyalty expert Sarah Marsh as Chief Experience Officer.
Darrow, Ruggels and Marsh join recently appointed CEO Cliff Plumer; co-founder and Chief Visionary Officer James Jensen; co-founder and Chief Creative Officer Curtis Hickman; Chief Product Officer Bryant Bishop; and President and Chief Operating Officer Kari St. John; on the core leadership team, solidifying the company’s position as a market leader as it focuses on expansion and growth.
“Andrew, Jeff and Sarah are each essential additions to the leadership team at THE VOID,” said Plumer. “All three will play major roles for THE VOID as we continue to pioneer and inspire mass-consumer adoption of immersive virtual experiences for everyone.”
Andrew Darrow is a proven international business development executive and strategist for leading entertainment brands, having most recently served as Executive Vice President at KidZania, a global chain of role-playing theme parks. Darrow developed the global growth strategy for the company and expanded it into the world's most successful experiential edutainment business. Prior to KidZania, Darrow served as Vice President of NBC Enterprises, where he directed and oversaw the commercialization of the network’s content for use in strategic ventures and consumer products. He has also held leadership positions at Octagon Worldwide, Broadway Video, as an A&R executive at MCA/Universal Records, and as an entertainment attorney.
Darrow will lead the company's efforts in increasing the global footprint through the opening of additional, strategic VOID Experience Centers™ (VECs). His unique background in location-based entertainment will drive THE VOID’s efforts as both a destination partner and as global leader in immersive hyper-reality entertainment.
Said Darrow, "THE VOID's unique experience is unparalleled in location-based entertainment and is a key differentiator for traditional retail and leisure environments as they pivot in the race to draw, engage and retain next-generation consumers.”
Jeff Ruggels joins THE VOID with 25 years of experience as a finance professional in the entertainment industry. Most recently, he led finance operations for fast-growth technology startups including Alpha Animation as Senior Vice President of Finance and Operations where he was focused on the group’s expansion into the U.S. market. Ruggels also served as Vice President and Head of Finance at Jaunt, Inc. where he oversaw all financial operations including the company’s most recent capital raise led by The Walt Disney Company and its joint venture in the Chinese market with two of China’s largest media companies, Shanghai Media Group and China Media Capital. Prior to Jaunt, he spent 14 years working at The Walt Disney Studios before joining Lucasfilm as Vice President of Finance & Operations. During his time with Lucasfilm he oversaw international operations, distribution and animation, and helped facilitate the company’s acquisition by Disney in 2012.
At THE VOID, Ruggels will be leveraging his experience at the intersection of technology and entertainment while helping develop and implement the company's global growth roadmap including strategic partnerships, as well overseeing all financial elements of the business.
Sarah Marsh brings extensive experience with global retail and entertainment properties, leading the development and delivery of end to end customer experience strategies most recently as Vice President of Customer Experience & Engagement, Global E-Commerce at Uniqlo, and Vice President of Customer Loyalty and Minister of Citizenship at KidZania. She has also held roles with Virgin America, Discovery Communications, and Amazon.com.
In her role at THE VOID, Marsh will be focused on developing the end-to-end customer experience and assembling the necessary capabilities and talent to produce memorable experiences that foster discovery, enthusiasm, and delight.
“From day one, THE VOID has set the bar for what truly immersive virtual entertainment should look like,” Plumer continued. “With the help of top-talent like Andrew, Jeff and Sarah, our team is better equipped than ever to continue driving forward the industry, and the vision of THE VOID, delivering consumers a world-class immersive experience.”
Recently, THE VOID opened two new experiences featuring the award-winning Ghostbusters: Dimension installation at The Beach in Dubai and at the company’s headquarters in the greater Salt Lake City area. The immersive experience is also available at Madame Tussauds New York. Additional experiences and locations are planned for the second half of this year.
About THE VOID
THE VOID is a destination that inspires the exploration of fully immersive virtual worlds with friends and family, creating memorable experiences together. By combining physical sets with real-time interactive effects, THE VOID allows you to step beyond reality, engaging all your senses, transporting you to new and unimaginable worlds. In July 2016, THE VOID opened Ghostbusters: Dimension, its first public experience in partnership with Sony Pictures, at Madame Tussauds New York. In 2017, THE VOID expanded with locations at The Beach in Dubai and the company’s headquarters in the greater Salt Lake City area. For more information, visit www.thevoid.com and join @VOIDVR on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.