Vivendi CEO Activision Blizzard's new chairman

Massive multinational's chief executive Jean-Bernard Levy to head board of world's biggest third-party publisher; Bobby Kotick still CEO.

Last July's merger of Vivendi Games and Activision created the world's biggest third-party publisher. During its 2008 fiscal year, it took in $2.9 billion, thanks to massive sales of Call of Duty: World at War, World of Warcraft, and the Guitar Hero franchise.

Jean-Bernard Levy

But as big as Activision Blizzard is, it is dwarfed by its majority shareholder, Vivendi SA, which profited handsomely from the merger. The massive French multinational took in €25.39 billion ($33.9 billion) last year from its broad array of holdings, including direct subsidiaries French television network Canal+ Group and record label Universal Music Group. The company also has a 20 percent stake in US film studio/TV network NBC Universal.

Despite Activision Blizzard's small size relative to Vivendi, the latter's chief executive officer is taking a more hands-on approach to managing the company. Today, Vivendi announced that CEO Jean-Bernard Levy will become the next chairman of Activision Blizzard's board of directors. The 54-year-old Levy will step into the role currently held by the retiring senior executive vice president of Vivendi's human-resources division, Rene Penisson.

Currently, Levy is one of the 11 directors on Activision Blizzard's board. Although Levy will be chairing the board, Robert Kotick will continue on as the publisher's CEO--the same position he held at premerger Activision since 1991. Kotick also holds a seat on the board and is one of five directors who originally came from Activision.

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Discussion

23 comments
scootertrash267
scootertrash267

This move made me so nervus i uninstalled wow + i have a lot of crap going on in my life i have no time to play

the_best_sarek
the_best_sarek

Let's be realistic here. If the guy became the CEO of the company, it's probably because he knows how to do good business. Looking at the success and strategy already in place for WoW, I doubt he'll change anything at all.

gameking5000
gameking5000

I need an idea of him before I say bhis good or bad

Pete5506
Pete5506

I cant really see anything good coming from this

Szczepanik
Szczepanik

yes, this move makes me very nervous.

makemeweak
makemeweak

Activision Blizzard continues it's downward spiral into corporate monotony...

Kcoshiob
Kcoshiob

kiss your favorite franchises goodbye, and get ready for some churn. When all they have to say about a guy is how much he is worth, it seems clear all he will do is try to make it grow. Nothing inherently wrong with that, aside form the fact that it will likely mean even more horrendous sequels, and remakes, along with very little risk taking. Sad.

ColdfireTrilogy
ColdfireTrilogy

BlizzardActivision is Small compared to Vivendi Okassar ... 56.6 billion dollars straight net worth. They yearly gains are 25billion + before reductions. Blizzardactivisions are around 2-4billion before reductions.... its not even close.

Shadow_Fire41
Shadow_Fire41

.........i heard that WoW is majorly messed up right now, that true?

Zero5000X
Zero5000X

Mike Morhaime needs to be CEO and Chairman... Bring some of that Blizzard magic to the rest of the company.

okassar
okassar

Activision Blizzard, small?They're worth 21 Billion Dollars lol.

Shlomiki
Shlomiki

@da_chub I agree with you on that. Companies like EA that do not rely on quality but rather on quantity, ruin harcore gaming. EA is a mainstream giant, releasing crap sequels every year.

Oni
Oni

They should force him to grind up a character to lvl 80 in WoW first, then he get's the job. ;)

da_chub
da_chub

Companies like EA and Activision are ruining videogames. they nickel/dime us for everything, paying for dlc, WoW. They release crappy sequels every year, instead of an awesome game every few years. EA has more shovelware on the Wii then Nintendo does. It is nice the gaming is so mainstream, but companies are getting too big.

samer312
samer312

its the government man trying to control us all ...lol anyways, these publishers are starting to become bigger and more powerful than any one could imagine15 years ago

aura_enchanted
aura_enchanted

EA and activision there becoming dictators of the market how i despise them both.

Barighm
Barighm

Let's hope this guy's perspective on things doesn't change the quality of their products.

SteelTiger360
SteelTiger360

wow that's great another "merger" that seems to be the latest trend other then customer value

Ambli
Ambli

Money grubbing idiots.

havokmaster
havokmaster

I can never understand why they dont get someone into these positions who are a little younger.

bigd575
bigd575

agree with strayfies

strayfies
strayfies

His first order of business should be using a photo which he knew was being taken.