SANTA MONICA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) 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.”
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.
Sakhnini Named President, King Digital
As President of King, Humam Sakhnini will oversee all operational management in partnership with King CEO Riccardo Zacconi. Most recently, Mr. Sakhnini served as the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer of King, a role he’s held since April 2016. Mr. Sakhnini previously spent six years at Activision Blizzard as the Chief Strategy and Talent Officer for the Company. During this time, he led several successful growth and corporate development initiatives, including the Company’s acquisition of King.
Prior to joining Activision Blizzard, Mr. Sakhnini was a partner at McKinsey & Company for eight years, where he provided counsel to executives at the world's leading media and technology companies. During his tenure at McKinsey, he focused on business strategy including acquisitions, international growth and market entry, as well as marketing, sales, and organizational transformation.
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.
J. Allen Brack, President, Blizzard Entertainment
On Oct 2, 2018, Activision Blizzard appointed J. Allen Brack as President of Blizzard Entertainment. J. continues to serve in this role, overseeing strategy and operations, including game development, for the operating unit.
J. is a seasoned game industry veteran bringing nearly 24 years’ experience to this role. As President of Blizzard Entertainment, Brack is dedicated to maintaining the high standard of quality that has propelled Blizzard to become an internationally recognized leader in interactive entertainment. Most recently, Brack served as executive producer and senior vice president for World of Warcraft, the #1 subscription-based MMORPG in the world. Throughout his twelve years at Blizzard, World of Warcraft has captivated millions of players worldwide and received a steady stream of high-quality content updates, including multiple expansions that rank among the fastest-selling PC games of all time. Prior to joining Blizzard, Brack held multiple roles at Origin Systems, Inc., working on the Wing Commander franchise, and then at Sony Online Entertainment LLC working on Star Wars Galaxies.
About Activision Blizzard
Activision Blizzard, Inc., a member of the Fortune 500 and S&P 500, is the world's most successful standalone interactive entertainment company. We delight hundreds of millions of monthly active users around the world through franchises including Activision's Call of Duty®, Destiny, Spyro™, and Crash™, Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft®, Overwatch®, Hearthstone®, Diablo®, StarCraft®, and Heroes of the Storm®, and King's Candy Crush™, Bubble Witch™, and Farm Heroes™. The company is one of the Fortune "100 Best Companies To Work For®." Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Blizzard has operations throughout the world. More information about Activision Blizzard and its products can be found on the company's website, www.activisionblizzard.com.