Activision CFO Fired, Joins Netflix
Spencer Neumann is on the way out.
Update: Netflix has officially announced the hiring of Spencer Neumann, who becomes the company's new CFO, replacing David Wells. There's only a single mention in Netflix's press release of his role at Activision. It's unclear how soon he'll start in the new role or whether he'll attempt to prove he should not have been dismissed by Activision. The original story follows.
Activision Blizzard, the gaming giant behind franchises like Call of Duty, Overwatch, World of Warcraft, and Diablo, has lost one of its senior executives. The California-based publisher announced that chief financial officer Spencer Neumann was notified on December 31 that his contract with Activision Blizzard was terminated.
The company decided to terminate Neumann's contract "for cause unrelated to the Company's financial reporting or disclosure controls and procedures," Activision Blizzard said in US Securities & Exchange Commission filing. In a PR statement, it said that he was "terminated for cause for violating his legal obligations to the Company."
Neumann is now on paid leave, and he's been given the opportunity to "demonstrate why cause does not exist to terminate his employment or why termination of his employment is not otherwise justified."
Activision Blizzard chief corporate officer Dennis Durkin is taking over for Neumann as CFO in the interim. Should Neumann end up leaving Activision Blizzard, Durkin will officially step into the role of CFO, the company said. Durkin was CFO from 2012-2017.
A source told Reuters that Neumann is leaving Activision Blizzard to join video streaming giant Netflix. Netflix's former CFO, David Wells, announced last August that he was leaving the company after 14 years. The source told Reuters that Netflix wanted its next CFO to be based in Los Angeles, which Neumann is.
According to Reuters, Neumann is expected to start at Netflix in early 2019, so an official announcement might be coming soon.
Neumann had been Activision Blizzard's CFO since May 2017. Before joining the company, he rose through the ranks at Disney, eventually becoming the CFO of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.
At the time of this writing, investors don't appear to be worried about the news, with Activision shares up 1.4%.