Ray Winninger is no longer DnD’s executive producer, revealing his exit from Wizards of the Coast on Twitter. “Sorry for the radio silence”, Winninger tweeted on October 18. “I’m in the midst of a sorely needed Long Rest.” “I have indeed left WotC, having accomplished the ambitious goals we set when I took over the D&D team.”
“Shepherding D&D was an honour and a privilege”, Winninger says, “but I’m looking forward to slowing down and getting back to a list of personal design projects. (Gamers, you haven’t seen the last of me!).” “Most of all, I look forward to following D&D as a fan again”, he adds.
Replacing Mike Mearls, Winninger first became D&D’s executive producer in 2019. His pre-Wizards work includes designing for tabletop RPGs like DC Heroes, Underground, and Marvel Superheroes. Winninger oversaw the release of several key 5e books – including supplements like Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything and adventures like the Candlekeep Mysteries anthology.
It’s not yet clear if Wizards has a replacement lined up to succeed Winninger. Twitter user David Hartlage (who first prompted Winninger to announce his departure) speculates the change is part of Wizards’ increasingly digital D&D strategy. “Speculation: Ray got squeezed out by the arrival of new D&D VP Dan Rawson, who brings the big tech experience WotC keeps seeking”, Hartlage shares on Twitter.
Rawson was appointed in early October, and his resume includes big names like Microsoft, Amazon, and Dynamics 365 (Winninger was also formerly on Microsoft’s payroll). Wizards president Cynthia Williams linked the new hire to the recent D&D Beyond acquisition and the game’s future digital potential.
Wargamer has reached out to Wizards of the Coast for comment on Winniger’s departure but has not yet received a response.