Jaci Hays has cemented herself as a vanguard of the rapidly evolving industries of gaming, esports and media. As Chief Operations Officer (COO) of FaZe Clan, the world’s largest and most prominent gaming and esports organization, Hays is not only on a mission to elevate gaming and esports into the mainstream but to take it even further and create a true 21st century media that pushes diversity at the forefront and ignites the spirit of youth culture. Whether she’s smokejumping or climbing up the corporate ladder Hays’ personal and professional life take her to the edge.
Hays’ drive started when she was in college and spent several summers working as a fire repeller during the fire fighting season. Hays transitioned from putting out forest fires to putting out figurative office fires when she started her career at CBS Interactive, where she worked for nearly two decades through several acquisitions. She began at GameSpot, then launched ZDnet South America, and ultimately, expanded her role with oversight of all gaming, entertainment and music content with CNET/CBS Interactive. As an expert in the emerging gaming arena, Hays’ insight drove her to predict seismic trends such as the rise of Twitch and Fortnite.
From there, Hays went on to serve as Head of Global Brand Partnerships at GoPro where she expanded the business beyond their core community, turning the company’s marketing division from a cost center to a revenue driver through smart partnerships including Real madrid, Facebook and Wimbledon.
At FaZe Clan, Hays is executing the larger corporate vision with oversight of the media, content, merchandising, marketing and esports teams. Under her direction, FaZe Clan is evolving into an innovative, next-generation media company with diverse revenue streams. Hays has a keen understanding of growth trends and how best to set up a company for success – as a result, she’s doubled FaZe Clan’s revenue, opened new lines of business by leveraging the cultural influence/relevance of their talent and content and used FaZe Clan’s influence to spotlight inclusion, diversity and important causes.