In an unanticipated move today Activision-Blizzard has named World of Warcraft Executive Producer J. Allen Brack as the next president of Blizzard Entertainment, succeeding Mike Morhaime in the position. Along with Brack’s promotion Chief Development Officer Ray Gresko and Blizzard Founder Allen Adham have been added to the executive leadership team of the company. Mike Morhaime will also remain as a “Strategic Advisor” to the company.
Messages from Mike Morhaime and J. Allen Brack to the community were posted here shortly after the announcement.
SANTA MONICA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) today announced the appointment of Blizzard veteran and World of Warcraft® Executive Producer J. Allen Brack as the new president of Blizzard Entertainment succeeding Mike Morhaime, who will remain a strategic advisor to the company. The company also announced the appointments of Chief Development Officer Ray Gresko and Blizzard Founder Allen Adham to Blizzard’s executive leadership team.
“J. has been with Blizzard for over 12 years leading the World of Warcraft team, and it takes vision, creativity and unwavering commitment to excellence to sustain a community of players the way J. has for over a decade,” said Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. “J. is an inspiring leader. He has shown unwavering commitment to our community, to innovation and creative excellence and he cares deeply about ensuring the very best of Blizzard culture will be protected.”
“I am also excited to have Allen Adham, Blizzard’s founder, who rejoined the company two years ago and Ray Gresko, Blizzard’s Chief Development Officer, join Blizzard’s executive leadership team. I have known both Allen and Ray for more than 25 years and they are two of the most capable entrepreneurs in the game industry. They will help make certain that inspiration and creativity remains the focus of Blizzard,” said Kotick.
“I am incredibly honored and humbled to serve as Blizzard’s next president, and to lead one of the best entertainment companies in the world, thanks to the passion and dedication of our player community and employees,” said J. Allen Brack, president, Blizzard Entertainment. “Blizzard was founded on the promise of making great games, and I plan to continue this fierce commitment to quality, our community, and our purpose. I couldn’t be more excited about what’s next given the strength of our pipeline.”
“Thanks to Mike Morhaime’s wonderful stewardship and masterful job of building a truly extraordinary team, epic games and a global community of beloved players, Blizzard is one of the very best game companies in the world,” Kotick added.
“I want to thank all of the talented and hardworking people at Blizzard for their dedication, creativity and passion. It has been a privilege to lead this team. I’m also very grateful to Blizzard‘s player community for their support,” said Mike Morhaime.
About J. Allen Brack
J. Allen Brack is a seasoned game industry veteran bringing nearly 24 years’ experience to this new 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 Ray Gresko
As chief development officer, Ray Gresko will oversee ongoing product development efforts across Blizzard’s iconic franchises, to ensure that the company delivers a consistent high-quality experience across its games. Gresko, a 26-year industry veteran, most recently held the role of executive producer for Overwatch, leading the development team through the creation of a brand-new Blizzard franchise and helping launch the game to critical acclaim. Gresko joined Blizzard in 2008 as production director on Diablo III. Previously, Gresko worked on multiple highly regarded LucasArts titles, co-founded and managed Nihilistic Software, and was director of production and studio design director for Stormfront Studios.
About Allen Adham
As executive producer, senior vice president, and founder of Blizzard Entertainment, Allen Adham is responsible for supporting some of the company’s initiatives around new product incubation. In this role, he serves on Blizzard’s executive team and helps shepherd the company’s vision for the future while setting goals and strategies that support Blizzard’s dedication to creating the most epic entertainment experiences ever. In February 1991, Allen co-founded Blizzard Entertainment with Mike Morhaime and Frank Pearce, serving as the company’s first president and later chairman. He provided executive leadership on the company’s first games, helping to build the industry-leading Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo entertainment universes. This included overseeing the creation of World of Warcraft and serving as the game’s lead designer from inception through its first five years of development.
About Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft®, Hearthstone®, Overwatch®, the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® franchises, and the multi-franchise Heroes of the Storm®, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. (www.blizzard.com), a division of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI), is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry’s most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard Entertainment’s track record includes twenty-two #1 games* and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company’s online gaming service, Blizzard Battle.net®, is one of the largest in the world, with millions of active players.
*Sales and/or downloads, based on internal company records and reports from key distribution partners.
About Activision Blizzard, Inc.
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 and Skylanders®, Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft®, Overwatch®, Hearthstone®, Diablo®, StarCraft®, and Heroes of the Storm®, and King’s Candy Crush™, Pet Rescue™, 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, and its games are played in 196 countries. More information about Activision Blizzard and its products can be found on the company’s website, www.activisionblizzard.com.