Blizzard has named former Call of Duty general manager Johanna Faries as its new president.
The executive joined Activision as head of Call of Duty esports in October 2018, before being named GM for the blockbuster shooter franchise in April 2021.
Her new role, which will see her replace outgoing studio boss Mike Ybarra, was confirmed in a memo sent to staff on Monday.
“Activision, Blizzard, and King are decidedly different companies with distinct games, cultures, and communities,” she said.
“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.
Hi all. Today I sent the below note to @Blizzard_Ent. As for X: I play to stay in "listen mode" here, but trust I'm tuned in! As for me: a typical day=work life+yogi life+games life. Currently on heavy rotation: D4, COD, BG3. Feeling blessed & grateful🙏🏽Onward. ✨ pic.twitter.com/Ph8XgsTcpk
— Johanna Faries (@Joh_Burg) January 29, 2024
“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,” Faries continued.
“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.”
Last week, Microsoft announced plans to lay off 1,900 staff across Xbox, Bethesda and Activision Blizzard.
Alongside the news, it was confirmed that president Ybarra and chief design officer Allen Adham would be leaving Blizzard, and that the studio’s untitled survival game, which was announced in January 2022, was no longer in development.