New Blizzard president announced as Call of Duty general manager

Following the departure of previous lead Mike Ybarra, Blizzard Entertainment has named its next president and it's ex-Call of Duty GM Johanna Faries.

2 minutes & 37 seconds read time

Call of Duty General Manager Johanna Faries is officially the next Blizzard president.

New Blizzard president announced as Call of Duty general manager 2

Microsoft recently made the decision to lay off 1,900 workers across the Xbox gaming division, with cuts happening across Activision Blizzard King, ZeniMax Media, and Xbox Game Studios. The announcement also came with previous Blizzard Entertainment president Mike Ybarra's departure, and today Microsoft has revealed who will now lead the multi-billion-dollar business.

Blizzard has named Johanna Faries as the new acting president, and she is due to start on February 5. Faries has been with Activision for five years, spearheading initiatives like Call of Duty's esports presence and eventually became the general manager of the $31 billion+ franchise, helping lead Call of Duty through its best-earning period in history. Before that, she spent 11 years as an executive at the NFL.

Here's a copy of Faries' introduction letter:

Though my official first day with you all is February 5, I want to let you know immediately that it is an honor to join you next week in this new capacity. I do so humbly and in awe of all that Blizzard has stood for and delivered to the world for over thirty years. Today also brings some mixed emotions. The loss of talented teammates in recent days is hard to hold side-by-side with the immense excitement I feel about joining Blizzard - and building on the momentum you've created for Blizzard's next chapter.

I want to thank Matt for the introduction, bring some further clarity to today's announcement, and share more about how I see our future together at Blizzard. I understand this is a lot to take in. The news of my appointment may no doubt bring up a range of reactions, questions, even concerns.

Activision, Blizzard, and King are decidedly different companies with distinct games, cultures, and communities. It is important to note that Call of Duty's way of waking up in the morning to deliver for players can often differ from the stunning games in Blizzard's realm: each with different gameplay experiences, communities that surround them, and requisite models of success. 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.

I am committed to doing everything I can to help Blizzard thrive, with care and consideration for you and for our games, each unique and special in their own right. I'm optimistic about our ability to serve our current and future player communities, and to further amplify the shared passion for greatness, polish, and creative mastery that is a hallmark of Blizzard's approach to game-making.

Next week, I will be in Irvine and I am eager to connect with as many of you as possible. I will be scheduling informal (and totally optional) meet-and-greets, where I want to hear more from people across the organization. Those of you who cannot make it to those gatherings or aren't located in Irvine, please feel free to email me. We are also planning a town hall meeting to be held in the near future.

A few personal facts about me: my #1 job in life is raising two amazing boys. In addition to parenthood, a typical week for me includes finding time for daily yoga and prayer, and of course, playing video games (big Diablo IV fan over here!). Throughout, the joy I find in games - and working with those who make them - only deepens.

I remain inspired by Blizzard's iconic legacy, and the transformative role gaming has played in my life and in the lives of others. I cannot wait to get going - to listen, to learn, to empower, and to collaborate with all of you on our bold and bright future together. Together, may we forge many legendary days ahead.

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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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