When you think of powerful women in the gaming industry Perrin Kaplan is a name that should come to mind. The former Vice President of Nintendo is known as a marketing genius. Originally from Seattle, Washington the award-winning industry leader and highly requested speaker graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in communication and political science from the University of Washington in 1984. After school, she held various jobs including VP of a local PR firm. Her next career move would not only change her life but the lives of women in the gaming industry around the world.

Perrin Kaplan and Nintendo

perrin kaplan
Source: Zebra Partners

In 1992, Nintendo welcomed Perrin as a corporate communication manager. Her immense work ethic and amazing talent were quickly noticed and in four years she was promoted to director of corporate affairs, where she headed up and grew this department. Her ingenuity and communication skills prepared her for her next challenge, which was becoming the Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Affairs, the position that she is most known for. In this role, she headed up over 500 item launches. She was also in charge of several departments in her market including government events and public relations. In 2007, after sixteen years of service, Perrin decided to retire from the company after a stellar career.

Zebra Partners

In 2008, Perrin partnered with previous co-workers from Nintendo Kelli Horner and Beth Llewelyn to form a PR and marketing organization, Zebra Partners. The international marketing company specializes in gaming, tech, VR, and entertainment. As per Perrin, in the initial days of the company start-up, the only thing that bothered her was her earlier definitions of success, which needed some reconsideration. For her, the meaning of this word was different compared to her powerful role at the giant Nintendo as she enjoyed all the luxuries with no tension. However, having her own firm came with new demands and responsibilities.

The birth of Zebra Partners gave birth to a new Perrin who had the liberty of making her own decisions, such as which projects to work on and whom to work. Now Zebra Partners works directly with the biggest companies on the planet including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Sony, and more offering their unique business expertise. There is an interesting story behind opting for the company name as ‘Zebra Partners’. Perrin felt that their company is not dealing with a particular class of clients. They have various clients like some are more established ones like Fortune 500 firms and then there are start-ups. Hence, just like a Zebra does not have the same stripes, Zebra Partners clients vary tremendously. 

Perrin Kaplan the Leader

Perrin’s leadership style emphasizes strong staffing, building a dynamic and responsive team. Her strategy is to hire the right employees and give them the ability and freedom to come up with new ideas that are welcomed thanks to the culture that she has built. Perrin Kaplan is a role-model and an inspiration to women in the gaming industry, female marketing leaders, and women CEOs.

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