Eric Hirshberg Named CEO of Activision Publishing
Advertising Industry Veteran Further Strengthens Company's Senior Management Team
SANTA MONICA, Calif., July 13, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX News Network/ -- Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) announced today that marketing and advertising industry veteran Eric Hirshberg has been named Chief Executive Officer of Activision Publishing, effective September 7, 2010.
In this role, Hirshberg will oversee Activision Publishing's operational management including its studio, product development functions and consumer marketing activities. He will assume the position from Mike Griffith who was promoted to Vice Chairman of Activision Blizzard and Hirshberg will report to Thomas Tippl, Chief Operating Officer of Activision Blizzard.
Hirshberg joins Activision from Deutsch LA, a full-service integrated marketing and advertising agency with more than a billion dollars in billings, where he most recently served as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Creative Officer. During his 13 years leading the company, Hirshberg was responsible for building the Deutsch LA office into one of the most prominent and respected creative firms in the country with a reputation for creating noteworthy multimedia creative campaigns that have delivered great marketplace results, and are often adopted into popular culture.
"In contemplating the requirements for the role of Activision Publishing's new CEO we believed it was vital to have a leader who was a dedicated gamer, inspired creative thinker, and possessed the ability to manage and lead creative talent in a manner that produced both superior products and provided superior shareholder returns," stated Robert Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard. "Eric is unique in this regard. There was no one we could find who possessed the unique blend of skills that Eric brings to Activision."
Kotick continued, "Eric's experience helping to develop strategies for his clients like Sony's PlayStation, Direct TV and HTC have given him unique exposure to video games, subscription-based entertainment and the delivery of mobile content. I have known him for a long time and Eric is one of those rare multi-talented people who managed to build a billion dollar business from the ground up in a difficult, competitive industry using his creative skills, passion for excellence, discipline and focus. He is one of the most inspiring people I know and I am excited that his energy, determination, and keen understanding of popular culture will be added to our extraordinarily talented team."
Hirshberg was inducted into the American Advertising Federation's Hall of Achievement in 2007, and was named the WSAAA Leader of the Year in 2002 and 2006. In addition to his award-winning work for his clients, his creative vision has been tapped by everyone from rock stars to presidential candidates. He also brings to Activision an intimate understanding of the video game industry through his experience creating award-winning campaigns for Sony's PlayStation 3.
"Eric's proven business development and talent management abilities combined with his established abilities as a creative leader make him uniquely suited to lead Activision Publishing for continued success," says Thomas Tippl, Chief Operating Officer of Activision Blizzard.
"I feel like everything I've done in my entire career has been preparing me for this," says Hirshberg. "This is a chance to take everything I know how to do, from leading creative people, to developing a great creative product, to building a culture of ideas, and apply them to something I've been passionate about my entire life. Activision has a portfolio of properties, and track record of innovation that are second to none. To be able to help write the next chapter is the opportunity of a lifetime."
Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Blizzard, Inc. is a worldwide online, PC, console and handheld game publisher with leading positions across every major category of the rapidly growing interactive entertainment software industry.
Activision Blizzard maintains operations in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, South Korea, China, and the region of Taiwan. More information about Activision Blizzard and its products can be found on the company's website, www.activisionblizzard.com.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in this press release that involves Activision Blizzard's expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future, including statements under the heading "Company Outlook," are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Activision Blizzard generally uses words such as "outlook," "will," "could," "would," "might," "remains," "to be," "plans," "believes," "may," "expects," "intends," "anticipates," "estimate," future," "plan," "positioned," "potential," "project," "remain," "scheduled," "set to," "subject to," "upcoming" and similar expressions to identify forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause Activision Blizzard's actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements set forth in this release include, but are not limited to, sales levels of Activision Blizzard's titles, shifts in consumer spending trends, the impact of the current macroeconomic environment, the seasonal and cyclical nature of the interactive game market, any further difficulties related to World of Warcraft in China, Activision Blizzard's ability to predict consumer preferences among competing hardware platforms, declines in software pricing, product returns and price protection, product delays, retail acceptance of Activision Blizzard's products, adoption rate and availability of new hardware (including peripherals) and related software, industry competition including from used games and other forms of entertainment, litigation risks and associated costs, rapid changes in technology, industry standards, business models including online and used games, and consumer preferences including interest in specific genres such as music, first-person action and massively multiplayer online games, protection of proprietary rights, maintenance of relationships with key personnel, customers, licensees, licensors, vendors, and third-party developers, including the ability to attract, retain and develop key personnel and developers that can create high quality "hit" titles, counterparty risks relating to customers, licensees, licensors and manufacturers, domestic and international economic, financial and political conditions and policies, foreign exchange rates and tax rates, and the identification of suitable future acquisition opportunities and potential challenges associated with geographic expansion, and the other factors identified in the risk factors sections of Activision Blizzard's most recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to Activision Blizzard as of the date of this release, and Activision Blizzard assumes no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements believed to be true when made may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of the future performance of Activision Blizzard and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond its control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.
SOURCE Activision Blizzard, Inc.
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