Blizzard appoints Johanna Faries as new President post-Microsoft acquisition

Jeremy Gan

Blizzard has appointed Johanna Faries as President as the company transitions into a post-Microsoft acquisition era.

The past year has been a busy one for Blizzard. As they finalize their acquisition by Microsoft, the company has gone through layoffs to start 2024 and a reported re-partnering with NetEase

And amid the layoffs on January 25, 2024, former Blizzard president Mike Ybarra announced he was leaving the company alongside the layoffs.

Now four days after the fact, Blizzard has appointed their new President. Johanna Faries has been announced as Blizzard’s new President in a post-Microsoft acquisition era for the mega game developer and publisher. 

“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,” Faries 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,” Faries said, addressing the recent layoffs. 

“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,” she wrote in the blog.

Faries has been with Activision Blizzard for years, first being appointed as the Call of Duty League’s commissioner in 2018. In 2020, she was promoted to become Acti-Blizz’s head of esports, overseeing the CDL and now defunct Overwatch League. 

And in 2021, she shifted her duties away from Acti-Blizz’s esports efforts to become General Manager for the Call of Duty franchise, exclusively working on Activision’s FPS title.