Last week saw brutal layoffs over at Microsoft which included Mike Ybarra walking away from his role as Blizzard President. The search for the new top dawg didn’t take long. Earlier this week, Blizzard named its new president.
Monday, Blizzard announced that Johanna Faries was taking the job. She was formerly the general manager of the Call of Duty franchise. Faries’ appointment is the first new leader of the studio since Microsoft purchased Activision Blizzard for $69 billion. She will be starting her new role on February 5th.
In a message to staff, she pointed out that her new job may cause a “range or reaction, questions and even concerns.” She also mentioned that Activision, Blizzard, and King are “decidedly different companies with distinct games, cultures, and communities” even though they all co-exist together.
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.”
Blizzard president Johanna Faries
Organizations like Black Girl Gamers have celebrated her promotion. She will be the second Black president to lead a gaming division within Microsoft. She follows Sarah Bond who became the president of Xbox shortly after the ABK acquisition.
It still is unfortunate to see so many jobs lost at Microsoft, specifically Activision, it’s nice to see that more underrepresented talent is being recognized and getting due credit.
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