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Gary Stern Steps Down as Stern Pinball CEO

This morning, the world's largest pinball manufacturer, Stern Pinball, issued a press release stating that its founder Gary Stern is stepping down as the company's CEO. Gary will continue to act as Chairman of the Board for the Company. He will be replaced as CEO by Seth Davis, who joined Stern as President in October 2021.

Below is a copy of the official statement:

Stern Pinball Announces Leadership Expansion

Seth Davis appointed CEO; Nick Parfitt appointed CFO

CHICAGO--Stern Pinball, Inc. (SPI) today announced two executive leadership appointments to support the company’s continued growth. In the past three years, SPI has achieved successive revenue records across the Pinball Machine, Accessory, and Merchandise businesses as well as a successful digital connectivity expansion with Insider Connected. Company Founder, Gary Stern, will step down as CEO but continue as Chairman of the Board. Dave Peterson will continue to serve as Vice Chairman of the Board. Gary and Dave will remain the controlling shareholders of the company and serve in executive roles on a project basis.

Seth Davis, who joined the company as President in October 2021, will take on the additional role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO). A life-long gamer prior to joining Stern Pinball, Seth spent a combined twenty-one years at The Walt Disney Company and the General Electric Company. He served in a wide variety of functions and in intrapreneurial roles at increasingly senior levels. Seth led and managed both small and large teams spanning business, creative, and technical disciplines.

Immediately prior to joining Stern Pinball, Seth served on the executive team responsible for the highly successful subscription-based streaming services Disney+ and ESPN+. Earlier in his career Seth served in Disney Corporate Financial Planning leading business transformation projects; as Head of Product Management for Connected Experiences within Disney Games and Consumer Products as part of Walt Disney Imagineering; as leader of Disney’s Digital Games Console and PC line of business; and as Director of Disney Games’ Strategy, Market Analytics, and Product Planning.

Before Disney, Seth spent eight years at the General Electric Company. He served as Senior Manager - Finance at GE Capital responsible for Strategic Analysis and Marketing. He started his GE career in the Financial Management Program where he completed four national rotations through GE business units and earned his Six Sigma Black Belt Certification.

Seth earned his MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania where he majored in Entrepreneurial Management. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Syracuse University with a double major in Accounting and Information Management and Technology.

After 35 years of service, Michael O’Donnell will retire as SPI’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Michael will remain a large shareholder of the company and continue to serve as a Board member. He will also lead special projects and assist with the transition of the CFO role.

Nick Parfitt will join the company as CFO. Nick, a native of South Africa, brings over 20 years of broad financial, accounting, strategic, and growth management experience to the company.

Nick started his career with Fortune Brands at Jim Beam Inc., the world’s third largest producer and distributor of distilled beverages. Nick subsequently joined MillerKnoll, Inc., the NASDAQ-listed multi-billion dollar collective of dynamic brands designed and produced for commercial and luxury residential markets. Most recently, Nick served nVenia, LLC as the finance lead to implement a consolidation strategy for a newly formed business unit within the Duravant family of engineering businesses.

Nick earned his MBA from The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University where he majored in Finance and Marketing. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Indiana University Bloomington with a double major in Finance and Operations Management.

Shelley Sax-Eldridge, who is one of the longest serving employees at Stern Pinball, also announced her retirement after more than 36 years of service. Shelley started as an Administrative Assistant to Gary Stern and became the company’s Logistics Manager. Shelley communicated regularly with the company’s customers and distribution partners, facilitating the distribution of pinball games around the globe.

About Insider Connected

Insider Connected is a comprehensive technology initiative to connect the universe of Stern pinball machines. The platform is designed to enhance and extend player engagement with the games across both home and commercial environments. It also presents professional operators of the pinball machines a robust set of tools to drive location play, build player loyalty, analyze performance, make adjustments remotely, and maintain the machines.

Registration for Insider Connected is available at Players can also register at a connected game by scanning a registration QR code on the machine. Once a player registers, they are issued a unique QR Code that can be used to identify that player at any connected Stern pinball machine anywhere in the world. When a player scans into the machine, they can track progress, earn new game specific achievements, engage with the player community, and participate in promotions and Challenge Quests.

"Insider Connected is transforming how players interact with pinball machines. Operators are benefiting from new tools that drive repeat play and help maintain games remotely while players can earn special entertainment location badges," said Seth Davis, President and CEO of Stern Pinball, Inc.

About Stern Pinball, Inc.

Stern Pinball, Inc. creates compelling entertainment that inspires a lifetime love of games, sparks passion, forges friendships, and connects people everywhere through fun, innovative, technologically advanced pinball games, and experiences. Headquartered minutes from Chicago's O'Hare International Airport in the heart of North America, the company creates, designs, engineers, manufactures, markets, and distributes a full line of technologically advanced terrestrial and digital pinball games, parts, accessories, and merchandise. Stern Pinball serves digital, consumer, commercial, and corporate markets around the globe.

Recent Stern Pinball titles include James Bond 007, Rush, Godzilla, The Mandalorian, Led Zeppelin, Avengers: Infinity Quest, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Stranger Things, Elvira's House of Horrors, Jurassic Park, Black Knight: Sword of Rage, The Munsters, The Beatles, Deadpool, Iron Maiden, Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Wars, Aerosmith, Ghostbusters, KISS, Metallica, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Star Trek, AC/DC, Batman, and Spider-Man. A broad range of players enjoy Stern Pinball's games from professional pinball players who compete in high-stakes competitions around the globe to novice players who are discovering the allure of the silver ball for the first time. To join the fun and learn more, please visit

Contacts Zach Sharpe

3,008 views3 comments


Eric P-du Var
Eric P-du Var
Dec 21, 2022

ici en France , la communauté flipper est , comment dire , effondrée de la tournure que prend le marcher du flipper . pro premium , LE , a des prix incroyablement non justifiés . Etrangement les modèles pas dispo en 2020 2021 sont tous disponibles avec les nouveaux prix ... dois-je en conclure que les ventes baissent très vite . Le retour de bâton sera sans doute sévère . Ici en France le prix public de départ d'un modèle pro et toutes taxes comprises , est a plus de 9000 euros . La restauration de vieux flipper a de l'avenir .


Looks like Stern is going full on corporate. Insider connected will be their main selling point and source of revenue and they'll become a "lifestyle brand." Quality control and ROI will suffer, prices will steadily but rapidly incline, and they'll continue to put less and less into their pro models so you simply must buy the upgrades. Buzz about 007 pro seems to back that theory. All the best to Gary, seems like he's set for life and this is a smart business decision. But this stinks of greed.


Jack Gutowitz
Jack Gutowitz
Dec 20, 2022

I expect another price increase with the next cornerstone and every cornerstone after that.

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