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Blizzard names its new president just a few days after Microsoft Gaming's big layoffs

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Microsoft has revealed its new President of Blizzard Entertainment, just a few days after the Microsoft Gaming division announced surprise mass layoffs, which heavily affected Blizzard in particular and also saw the departure of Mike Ybarra as Blizzard's President.

In a blog post, Blizzard showed off an email sent to its remaining employees that was written by Johanna Faries, who has been picked to lead the game developer as President. Faries's official first day of work will be on February 5. Faries was previously employed by the Activision part of Activision Blizzard for the past several years in its Call of Duty division, most recently as its general manager.

In her email, Faries stated that she knew that the Call of Duty and Blizzard teams offer "different gameplay experiences, communities that surround them, and requisite models of success." She stated that she was "walking into this role with sensitivity to those dynamics, and deep respect for Blizzard, as we begin to explore taking our universes to even higher heights."

She ended her email by saying:

I remain inspired by Blizzard’s iconic legacy, and the transformative role gaming has played in my life and in the lives of others. I cannot wait to get going – to listen, to learn, to empower, and to collaborate with all of you on our bold and bright future together. Together, may we forge many legendary days ahead.

Microsoft Gaming laid off 1,900 team members, or 9 percent of its workforce, last week. At Blizzard, the consequences of that move included the cancelation of its unnamed survival game that was first announced in 2022. Microsoft stated some of the team members who worked on the game will be moved to other projects.

Blizzard's announced upcoming games include three big expansion packs for its long-running MMO World of Warcraft. The first expansion, The War Within, is scheduled to launch this fall, around the time of the game's 20th anniversary. Blizzard also plans to launch the first major expansion for its action-RPG Diablo IV in late 2024 as well.

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