Sega of America president departs

As the company prepares for the U.S. launch of its crucial Dreamcast product, it parts ways with Bernie Stolar.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Sega of America has parted ways with Bernie Stolar, its president and chief operating officer.

Sega announced Wednesday that Toshiro Kezuka was now vice chairman and COO of the company, replacing Stolar.

Sega would only say that despite Stolar's departure, plans for the company's next-generation Dreamcast game console were still on track.

Stolar's leaving also marks a fundamental change in the corporate structure: Sega of America no longer has a president. According to Sega, the president position once filled by Stolar is no longer necessary. As COO of the company, Kezuka will completely assume Stolar's responsibilities.

The new company officer previously held the post of president of Honda France. He joined Sega Enterprises in 1995 and worked in domestic sales and distribution.

Earlier this year, Kezuka moved to Sega of America and was named deputy chairman of the company.

A Sega spokesperson said: "Kezuka's knowledge of the European and Japanese markets make him the ideal COO for Sega. He will help improve Sega become a more global company."

Other than the basic facts, Sega was mum on the deal. A release issued by Sega firmly states that, "It is Sega's policy not to comment on personnel decisions."

Under benign conditions, companies normally announce the departure of a high-ranking official and that person's future professional plans.

Considering that the company did not divulge details about Stolar's abrupt departure, it appears that Stolar was terminated, and at least one unofficial source has confirmed that Stolar's position was indeed terminated.

As we uncover more details regarding his sudden departure, we'll bring that information to readers.