Blizzard Appoints Johanna Faries, Former ‘Call of Duty’ And NFL Executive, As President – Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Blizzard Entertainment Taps Former ‘Call of Duty’ and NFL Executive Johanna Faries as President

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By Ronald Tech

Blizzard Entertainment, a video game development studio now under the ownership of Microsoft Corp. MSFT,
has appointed Johanna Faries as its new president, succeeding Mike Ybarra.

Faries, who previously served as the general manager for the Call of Duty franchise at Activision, will take on the role starting Feb. 5, in line with a report by Bloomberg.

In addition, Faries brings nearly 12 years of experience at the National Football League to her new position.

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In a note directed at her staff, she acknowledged the differences between Activision, Blizzard, and King, stating: “Activision, Blizzard, and King are decidedly different companies with distinct games, cultures, and communities.”

Moreover, Faries expressed her understanding of the unique dynamics at Blizzard, affirming, “I’ve discussed this with the Blizzard leadership team, and I’m walking into this role with sensitivity to those dynamics, and deep respect for Blizzard, as we begin to explore taking our universes to even higher heights.”

The appointment comes amidst changes at Activision led by Xbox chief Phil Spencer and president for game studios, Matt Booty, aiming to stabilize game franchises and boost revenue.

Microsoft’s plans to address morale, management, and game development issues at the acquired studios have been delayed due to regulatory approval challenges.

It’s worth noting that the company is also dealing with the aftermath of significant layoffs, impacting 1,900 video game employees, many from Activision.

Read Next: Microsoft’s Major Gaming Shake-Up: 1,900 Layoffs and Leadership Changes in Post-Acquisition Strategy

Image credits: JHVEPhoto on Shutterstock.

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