The announcement of Pearce’s exit comes less than a year after president Michael Morhaime, another Blizzard co-founder, left the company. J. Allen Brack, executive producer of “World of Warcraft,” took over the position as president of Blizzard.
“The time has come for me to step away from Blizzard and pass the torch to the next generation of leaders,” Pearce said in a July 19 blog post. He has served as chief development officer for Blizzard, which has run as a division of Activision Blizzard.
Pearce has been part of Blizzard since its formation in early 1991, when the company was called Silicon & Synapse. Early on, he worked as a programmer on titles including “Diablo,” “StarCraft,” “The Lost Vikings” and “Blackthorne.” Allen Adham, Blizzard’s third founder, quit in 2004 then rejoined the company in 2016 and now serves as senior VP.
“I know that the future of Blizzard will be amazing under their guidance. There are many exciting initiatives in the works, and I can’t wait to see the end results,” Pearce wrote in his farewell post.
Brack, in an accompanying blog post, said Pearce has kept a low public profile but has been a huge part of Blizzard for nearly three decades. “Like many of us, Frank is an introvert,” Brack wrote. “Thus many of you haven’t seen a lot of him publicly, nor seen the deep impact he’s had on Blizzard, and on the culture specifically. But Frank has been here from the beginning, building and expanding the foundation and championing the values behind everything Blizzard does.”
Pearce said he will “be thoughtful about what comes next,” saying he plans to “spend more time active in the outdoors” and that he wants to learn to play an instrument.