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Report: Alongside Exec Shuffle, Activision Reorganizes Company
Report: Alongside Exec Shuffle, Activision Reorganizes Company
March 30, 2010 | By Chris Remo

March 30, 2010 | By Chris Remo

Following the recent promotion of Activision CFO Thomas Tippl to COO, reports have emerged of a significant company reorganization that sees Activision Blizzard split into four primary business units.

The four primary units are centered around the Infinity Ward-created Call of Duty franchise, other internal properties like Guitar Hero and Tony Hawk, licensed properties owned by external parties, and Blizzard Entertainment, the last of which has effectively operated as an autonomous business unit since Activision's merger with Vivendi.

News of the company's new structure comes by way of internal memos obtained by The Los Angeles Times. Activision representatives reportedly confirmed the news.

Activision has not yet announced the changes to the public or its shareholders, but may do so officially in its next round of quarterly financial statements.

Still, the company offered a recent clue as to its intentions when it detailed the new Call of Duty division being headed up by Philip Earl, announced soon after the ousting of Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella.

According to the Times' reporting, the new licensed games unit will be led by Dave Oxford, current head of Minneapolis-based Activision Value. The internal property group, which includes Tony Hawk and Guitar Hero, will be headed up by owned properties EVP Maria Stipp.

Blizzard will continue under the leadership of current president Mike Morhaime, who reports to Tippl under his new roles.

In 2007, major competitor Electronic Arts announced a similar plan, splitting its publishing operations into four labels: EA Games, EA Sports, The Sims, and EA Casual.

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Bryson Whiteman
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I can't wait to play some of their amazing games!

Bart Stewart
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Building a division (usually a strategic-level entity) around a specific game, rather than around a high-level style of play like sports, seems odd to me. Whether it's Call of Duty or The Sims, how much sense does it make to put just one egg in a division-sized basket?

It'll also be interesting to see whether the CoD division acts as though it controls the Modern Warfare part of the Call of Duty IP, since the MW part is being claimed by West and Zampella in their countersuit. How much product planning is wise when you don't know if a judge might take that product away from you?

Franklin Brown
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Let's hope they leave Blizzard alone. If Kotick screws up my World of Warcraft I'm gonna be pissed.

Michael Kolb
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Haha I thought this was an April fools joke.