Game Over For Wildlife’s CEO as Brazilian Unicorn Restructures, Cuts 13% of Staff

Peter Hill, a former Amazon executive, will replace Wildlife Studios’ CEO Victor Lazarte and the gaming unicorn will layoff 13% of its workforce

Wildlife occupies two floors in Corporate Park in São Paulo.
June 15, 2023 | 03:01 PM

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Bloomberg Línea — Brazilian gaming unicorn Wildlife Studios has cut 13% of its staff - about 143 people, according to PitchBook data - on Wednesday in what the company called an “organizational restructuring”, while Peter Hill, the company’s former chief product officer, will take over as CEO to replace Victor Lazarte, who will now move to the position of chairman of the board.

US-born Peter Hill spent 18 years at Amazon in Seattle, where he was vice president of productivity applications. Since January of last year, Hill had been CPO at the smartphone game startup.

This is the second round of layoffs at Wildlife, which had made layoffs last November, when it reduced its headcount by 20% to address the challenging economic backdrop for technology companies due to high interest rates, according to people familiar that spoke to Bloomberg Línea on condition of anonymity.

At the time, the company said it was suspending initiatives not focused on mobile games to “increase focus on what has made us successful: game development”.


Wildlife occupies two floors in the Corporate Park in São Paulo, a building in Itaim Bibi that is also headquarters for companies such as Ambev and Movida.

The company, founded by brothers Victor and Arthur Lazarte, was one of the first Brazilian startups to reach the so-called unicorn status, with a valuation equal to or higher than $1 billion. According to PitchBook data, Wildlife Studios has received more than $250 million in outside investments.

Upload Ventures bought a stake in the mobile online game developer in a secondary market deal last year, according to PitchBook data. Wildlife had previously received $120 million in a Series B from Vulcan Capital in 2020, which would have valued the company at approximately $3 billion.


As of 2019, the company has Peter Fenton, general partner at San Francisco-based Benchmark, on its board.

“While we are focused on creating a smaller, more agile company, our investments in new games remain unchanged,” the company told Bloomberg Línea on Wednesday.