Midway has been under fire lately for poor earnings reports, and in March the largest pension fund in the nation named Midway one of the poorest performing companies in the country. Thus the shift in leadership does not come as a surprise.
Zucker does not have a game industry background, however. As the former President and Chief Operating Officer at Playboy, he was apparently tapped because of his experience marketing to Midway's target demographic: young men. Prior to his one-year stint at Playboy, he served a number of roles at ESPN, including chief of U.S. programming.
Nicastro had managed Midway's daily operations since 1991, when he became president and chief operating officer. Midway said Nicastro will remain chairman of the company's board of directors. A new COO was not named.
Michael Pachter, a stock analyst with Wedbush Morgan Securities, told Dow Jones Business News that he believes Zucker will succeed because Midway, Playboy and ESPN all "sell useless stuff to young men. It's a perfect fit."
In early-afternoon trading, Midway was up 45 cents, or 13%, to $4.02.