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Activision Blizzard Exec Shuffle Appoints New Heads of Activision, King, Emerging Business

Continuing a month-long string of internal shuffling, Activision Blizzard Wednesday announced new presidents for Activision and King. The company also announced a new head for the company’s emerging businesses.

The move comes following two high profile departures from the company earlier this month.

Call of Duty Executive vice president and general manager Rob Kostich was named president of Activision; Humam Sakhnini was named president of King Digital Entertainment, having most recently served as both chief financial officer and chief strategy officer of the operating unit. Dennis Durkin was named president of Activision Blizzard’s emerging businesses, in addition to his role as chief financial officer. As previously announced, veteran Blizzard executive and World of Warcraft Executive Producer J. Allen Brack continues to serve as the president of Blizzard Entertainment.

“Rob, Humam, Dennis and J. exemplify our deep bench of operational and commercial leadership. These capable and seasoned executives have shown unwavering commitment to our company, our employees, and our beloved community of fans around the world,” said Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. “With these proven, principled leaders at the helm, we will continue to invest in the strategic growth drivers of our business; our talented people, and creating the world’s best video games, live services, mobile experiences, and new and growing franchise engagement models.”

Kostich led the Call of Duty franchise for the past decade. As president of Activision, Kostich will oversee strategy and operations, including game development, for the operating unit. During his tenure, Call of Duty was the top top-selling console video game franchise in the U.S. for the last decade. Kostich also serves as president of the Call of Duty Endowment and oversaw the growth of Call of Duty esports including the establishment of the Call of Duty World League, a leading esports organization.

As president of King, Sakhnini will oversee all operational management in partnership with King CEO Riccardo Zacconi. Most recently, Sakhnini served as the chief financial officer and chief strategy officer of King, a role he’s held since April 2016.

Durkin, who was recently re-appointed chief financial officer of Activision Blizzard, will also serve as president of the company’s Emerging Businesses, working closely with each division’s leadership team. In this expanded role, Durkin will oversee operational management of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues, Activision Blizzard Studios, and Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Group.

The three appointments come just a week after news broke that Blizzard Entertainment Chief Financial Officer Amrita Ahuja was leaving the gaming company to join Jack Dorsey’s online financial service Square, Inc.

Ahuja’s departure from Blizzard is the second high profile exit from Activision Blizzard this month. On Jan. 2,  Netflix announced that Spencer Neumann — previously CFO of games company Activision Blizzard and a former Disney finance exec — was joining the company as chief financial officer.

In a separate filing with the SEC Wednesday, Activision Blizzard noted that Blizzard co-founder Michael Morhaime, who stepped down as president of the company in October, would provide strategic advice to the company as an advisor until April 7.

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