Activision Blizzard today announced the appointment of Rob Kostich, the current General Manager and Executive Vice President of Call of Duty at Activision, as the new President of Activision Publishing. Kostich will now lead the Activision Publishing division within Activision Blizzard.
This is the first new, confirmed leader of the operating division following the departure of Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg back in March 2018. Since then, no confirmed new president or CEO was appointed — till today. The company also announced two more new appointments within other divisions of the company.
Activision Blizzard, Inc. today announced key leadership appointments, naming long-time veteran executives to lead three of the Company’s operating units. Call of Duty® Executive Vice President and General Manager Rob Kostich has been named President of Activision; Humam Sakhnini has been named President of King Digital Entertainment, having most recently served as both Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer of the operating unit. The Company also named Dennis Durkin President of Activision Blizzard’s Emerging Businesses, in addition to his role as Chief Financial Officer of the Company. 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 videogames, live services, mobile experiences, and new and growing franchise engagement models.”
In the press release announcing the new leads of the company’s operating units, Activision also revealed that the Call of Duty franchise has generated more revenue than the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, and has generated double the revenue than Star Wars has.
Kostich Named President, Activision: Rob Kostich has led the Company’s most iconic franchise, Call of Duty®, for the past 10 years. He is an Activision veteran of nearly 15 years and, as President, Kostich will oversee strategy and operations, including game development, for the operating unit. Under his leadership as GM and Executive Vice President of the franchise, Call of Duty® has become one of the most successful entertainment properties in history. As a franchise, Call of Duty has now generated more revenue than the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the box office, and double that of the cumulative box office of Star Wars.
During his tenure, Call of Duty has been the No. 1 top-selling console video game franchise in the U.S. for the last decade. Mr. Kostich also serves as President of the Call of Duty Endowment and has overseen the growth of Call of Duty esports including the establishment of the Call of Duty World League, a leading esports organization. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Kostich held a variety of leadership and marketing positions at Verisign, Nestlé USA and The Clorox Company.
Activision Blizzard also announced two more appoints, a new President of King Digital Entertainment, alongside a new President of their Emerging Business Units.
Dennis Durkin, who was announced last week to be the new Chief Financial Officer, will also take on the role of President of Emerging Business Units at Activision Blizzard. With this role, Durkin will oversee Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues, Activision Blizzard Studios, and Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Division.
Durkin Named President, Emerging Businesses: Dennis 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, Mr. Durkin will oversee operational management of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues, Activision Blizzard Studios and Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Group. Mr. Durkin previously held the role of CFO from March 2012 to May 2017, and most recently, served as Chief Corporate Officer for the Company.
During Mr. Durkin’s initial tenure as Chief Financial Officer of Activision Blizzard, the Company delivered strong financial performance, and a greater than 400 percent increase in the stock price during that time. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Durkin held a number of positions of increasing responsibility at Microsoft Corporation during an over twelve-year period, including Corporate Vice President and Chief Operating and Financial Officer of Microsoft’s interactive entertainment business (IEB), which included the Xbox console business.
Activision Blizzard has been going under many executive changes the last year, with a new CFO appointed last week, alongside the departure of Blizzard’s CFO.
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