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Activision Blizzard Hires CAA Veteran David Messinger as CMO

Activision Blizzard tapped David Messinger, a former 15-plus-year veteran of CAA, as its first corporate-wide chief marketing officer.

Messinger, based in Santa Monica, reports to Coddy Johnson, Activision Blizzard’s president and COO. It’s the first time the video-game company has appointed a CMO who will oversee the global marketing operations across all of Activision Blizzard brands.

Messinger’s “tenure in global entertainment and his expertise in strategic, award-winning marketing campaigns will help our communities to grow and further inspire our players to connect, compete and play,” Johnson said in a statement.

In a separate management change, on Aug. 14, Brian Stolz shifted from serving as chief people officer (head of human resources) of Activision Blizzard to serving as a special adviser to CEO Bobby Kotick. Claudine Naughton, formerly AIG’s chief human resources officer, has joined the company as chief people officer.

Before joining Activision Blizzard, Messinger was briefly CEO of Verum Ventus, a strategic consulting company for C-level execs, which he joined in October 2018. Prior to that, he spent more than 15 years at CAA, most recently as the co-head of marketing for the sports and entertainment agency. Earlier in his career, Messinger led consumer marketing for Ticketmaster and held various roles at the Walt Disney Co. and marketing agency Leo Burnett Worldwide. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English and a certificate in film and video from Duke University.

Messinger commented, “I have a profound admiration for Activision Blizzard’s track record of developing enduring entertainment franchises. I’m thrilled to be joining the company and look forward to collaborating with the many talented teams across the organization as we continue to connect these iconic entertainment properties to the many communities of engaged fans around the world.”

Activision Blizzard’s titles include Activision’s “Call of Duty” and “Spyro”; Blizzard Entertainment’s “World of Warcraft,” “Overwatch,” “Hearthstone,” “Diablo,” “StarCraft,” and “Heroes of the Storm”; and King’s “Candy Crush.”

For the quarter ended June 30, Activision Blizzard reported $1.40 billion in revenue, down 15% from $1.64 billion during the same quarter a year ago. The company had 327 million monthly active users across all titles in Q2 — down 7% from 352 million in the year-earlier period. The company attributed much of the user decline to its split with “Destiny” developer Bungie, which was announced earlier this year.

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