Blizzard names Call of Duty GM Johanna Faries as new president

New appointment comes as previous incumbent Mike Ybarra exits the company

Blizzard names Call of Duty GM Johanna Faries as new president

Blizzard has appointed Call of Duty GM Johanna Faries as its new president.

The news comes after previous incumbent Mike Ybarra made the decision to step down following the completion of Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision. His departure was announced as Microsoft laid off 1,900 employees across its games division.

"Decidedly different companies"

Faries will officially take up the new role on February 5th. She has served as Call of Duty GM for three years, having previously worked as esports commissioner for the franchise and SVP, head of leagues.

Prior to Activision, Faries spent nearly 12 years working for the NFL, holding the role of VP of club business development before heading to the games industry.

“Activision, Blizzard, and King are decidedly different companies with distinct games, cultures, and communities,” said Faries.

“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.

“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. 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.”

Blizzard has been through a number of company bosses in recent years. Following ex-CEO Mike Morhaime’s exit in 2019, J. Allen Brack stepped into the role, before departing the company in 2021.

Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra were then announced as his replacement as co-leads for the company, with the former leaving the role three months later.

Staff Writer