Call of Duty General Manager Johanna Faries steps in as new Blizzard President

Joaquín Frere
Activision Blizzard

Following mass Microsoft layoffs, which heavily affected Activision Blizzard, Call of Duty’s General Manager Johanna Faries is replacing Mike Ybarra as Blizzard’s President.

Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard was a hot topic during 2023 before the deal finally came to a close. Despite it seeming that everything would be ready for Activision to move along in 2024, Microsoft was hit with a wave of 1900 layoffs at the end of January. This was followed by former President Mike Ybarra stepping down from heading Blizzard Entertainment.

Now, Call of Duty General Manager, Johanna Faries, who entered the company as CoD’s Esports coordinator, is taking his place and starts as Blizzard’s President on February 5, 2024.

Faries joined X on January 29, and posted a lengthy message that was sent company-wide to Blizzard, where the former Call of Duty General Manager highlights past work, and acknowledges that “this is a lot to take in.”

“The news of my appointment may no doubt bring up a range of reactions, questions, even concerns,” said Faries in her X statement. “Activision, Blizzard, and King are decidedly different companies with distinct games, cultures, and communities,” Faries continued while highlighting the importance of how this differs from Call of Duty’s “way of waking up in the morning to deliver for players.”

Johanna Faries seems to be an avid gamer, mentioning that she is a “big Diablo IV fan,” and adding on X that her work life is, at some point, based on gaming. “Currently on heavy rotation: D4, COD, BG3,” she added on her post.

Her replacement as Call of Duty General Manager will be Matt Cox, Activision’s former VP of Product for Call of Duty. This was confirmed by the company’s President Rob Kostich, alongside a handful of new promotions inside the Marketing and Technology offices.

Cox has worked at Activison for 15 years, and his record includes past work on Guitar Hero, Skylanders, Destiny, and Call of Duty titles. According to Kostich, Matt Cox has “deep knowledge and a long history with our games and teams, which will serve him well in this new role.”

For more on Call of Duty, check out the expected release date for MW3’s Season 2, or how CoD devs finally explained how SBMM works in MW3.

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About The Author

Joaquín is a new Senior Writer for Charlie Intel with years of experience on games journalism. Focusing on all things JRPGs and a videogame developer at heart. Graduated from Game-Dev School and Public Relations, his current work is Charlie Intel and Infobae for LATAM. You can contact Joaquín at [email protected]