Title: Microsoft and Blizzard Entertainment Announce Appointment of New President following Resignation

Description: After the unexpected departure of former lead Mike Ybarra, leading tech companies Microsoft and Blizzard Entertainment have jointly announced the selection of their next president. Discover the details and implications of this crucial leadership development in the Irvine-based company and the wider gaming industry. Stay updated with industry news on this important executive appointment.

In the wake of a tumultuous time at Blizzard Entertainment, the company tapped former Call of Duty general manager Johanna Faries as the new President of Blizzard Entertainment. Faries is the first woman to assume the mantle of President at Blizzard, and she takes the position following the sudden resignation of former lead Mike Ybarra.

Ybarra's resignation came immediately following a mass wave of layoffs across Microsoft's gaming branches, which included Activision Blizzard. With over 1,900 positions cut, including some of Blizzard's customer service team, the layoffs were part of a rough month for game developers. At the same time, Blizzard also saw one of the company's co-founders, Allen Adham, announce his departure. Adham founded Blizzard, previously known as Silicon & Synapse, alongside Frank Pearce and Mike Morhaime in February 1991. Since then, Blizzard has seen a few leadership changes under both Activision and Microsoft.

On January 29, Microsoft appointed Johanna Faries to take the position of Blizzard's new president. As the former general manager of the Call of Duty franchise, Faries is the first woman to hold the position as the head of Blizzard Entertainment. Before her time at Activision Blizzard, Faries spent 12 years in the front office of the National Football League (NFL) across multiple marketing and business departments. According to an email sent to all Blizzard staff, Faries begins her duties on February 5. While Faries acknowledges the January layoffs at Microsoft in her letter, she said that Activision, Blizzard, and King are different companies with various ideas and expectations. Faries added that she will continue working with Blizzard's leadership team in the meantime.

Who Is Johanna Faries?

In addition to her past work with the Call of Duty franchise and her esports background, Faries said that she plays games such as Diablo 4 and Baldur's Gate 3 in her downtime. As part of Microsoft's restructuring of all its gaming studios and acquisitions, Faries will work alongside other executives, including Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer and Xbox Game Studios lead Matt Booty. Faries takes over amid a busy 2024 at Blizzard, with updates to World of Warcraft and Diablo 4 already on the table. Whether Faries will lend her expertise in esports to the newly-formed Overwatch Championship Series remains to be seen.

By marcela Diay

Despite her humble beginnings, Marcela Diay has spectacularly transcended the gaming world. From her childhood years spent immersed in video games, Marcela has reached for the stars and achieved the heights of success, becoming a true role model for gamers around the globe. From honing her skills on a simple handheld console, Marcela has progressed to writing extraordinary reviews, producing fascinating editorials, and ultimately obtaining the respected position of editor of the magazine's game section. Her remarkable journey serves as a beacon of hope, demonstrating how with intense passion and hard work, anything is possible.