Activision Blizzard, one of the biggest publishers in gaming, has announced a major leadership change. The company has hired veteran Google executive Daniel Alegre to become its new president and chief operating officer, effective April 7, 2020.
He will replace Coddy Johnson, the former Bush-Cheney field director who became Activision Blizzard’s president in 2017 after more than seven years with the company before that. Johnson will transition to a new “special advisor” role where he will report to Activision Blizzard CEO Kotick.
In his position as president and COO of Activision Blizzard, Alegre will oversee all of the company’s major business units: Activision Publishing, Blizzard Entertainment, and King Digital. He will report directly to Kotick.
“I was deeply impressed by Daniel’s entrepreneurial drive and broad and deep experience in driving global growth across a variety of businesses in a rapidly changing industry,” Kotick said in a statement. “Our greatest challenges are prioritizing the many opportunities we have and recruiting and retaining the talent needed to execute with focus and excellence. Daniel is a proven leader with a long track record of success doing both.”
For his part, Alegre said, “I look forward to helping players around the world connect through quality and immersive games.”
Alegre was Google’s president of global retail and shopping most recently. Before that, he served as Google’s president for global and strategic partnerships. Earlier in his career, Alegre headed up Google’s business in the Asia Pacific region, and he also opened Google’s first operations in China, Southeast Asia, and India.
According to a government filing, Alegre is getting a lucrative pay package as Activision Blizzard’s new president and CEO. He will earn an annual base salary of $1.35 million, in addition to “annual discretionary bonuses” that could be 100% of that base salary. He is also eligible to earn an additional bonus of another 100% of the base salary for years where Activision Blizzard’s earnings-per-share growth is 20% better than expected results.
Alegre is also getting a company-paid $5 million life insurance policy for himself and his wife, as well as a one-time payment of $2.5 million as a “contract inducement.” Alegre is also set to receive stock options with a $5 million grant value.
Activision is currently riding high, with Call of Duty: Warzone launching this week and attracting more than 6 million players in its first day.
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