Hayes was only the head of SEGA Europe since 2005, contributing to the company's re-invention from a hardware maker to a third-party games publisher. In his tenure as COO of SEGA Europe, he was credited for restoring SEGA's dominance in Europe by setting up the now-defunct Sega Racing Studio and acquiring video game studios Creative Assembly and Sports Interactive.
In June 2009, Mike Hayes had replaced Simon Jeffery as president of Sega of America, becoming the head of all Western SEGA branches. He was involved in all Sonic games that will be made in the future. He was in collaboration with other industries for the game Sonic Colors.