Microsoft appoints Johanna Faries as Blizzard's president

Microsoft appoints Matt Cox as senior vice president and general manager of “Call of Duty”
An undated image of Microsoft headquarters. — Pixabay
An undated image of Microsoft headquarters. — Pixabay

Microsoft has appointed Johanna Faries, the former general manager of “Call of Duty,” as the new president of its game publishing unit Blizzard Entertainment.

The placement of the new president follows the company's ongoing endeavours to make the most of Activision Blizzard it acquired last year in a $69 billion deal. Meanwhile, MicrosoftMatt Cox, an insider within the organisation, has been appointed as the senior vice president and general manager of “Call of Duty.” 

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Faries joined Activision Blizzard in 2018, following a distinguished career of over a decade at the National Football League (NFL).

While Blizzard wrapped up its acquisition by Microsoft, the company has gone through layoffs to start 2024 and a reported re-partnering with NetEase.

Alongside the layoffs Microsoft announced last week, former Blizzard president Mike Ybarra also announced his departure from the company, according to a Reuters report.

“Though my official first day with you all is February 5, I want to let you know immediately that it is an honor to join you next week in this new capacity,” Fairies wrote in a blog addressing Blizzard employees.

“Today also brings some mixed emotions. The loss of talented teammates in recent days is hard to hold side-by-side with the immense excitement I feel about joining Blizzard,” Fairies said, addressing the recent layoffs.

Faries has worked for years at Activision Blizzard, initially taking on the role of commissioner for the Call of Duty League in 2018. She was later promoted to lead the company's esports division in 2020, overseeing the CDL and the now discontinued Overwatch League.

In 2021, she transitioned to a new role as General Manager for the Call of Duty franchise, focusing exclusively on Activision's first-person shooter title and stepping away from her previous responsibilities in esports at Acti-Blizz.