Activision appoints new Guitar Hero boss

Activision Blizzard has appointed former Yahoo COO Dan Rosensweig as CEO and President of Red Octane – the business unit which develops the blockbuster Guitar Hero franchise and soon to be released DJ Hero.

Rosensweig will oversee Guitar Hero’s global operations including game development, hardware manufacturing, supply chain, logistics and marketing.

He will report directly to Mike Griffith, president and CEO of Activision Publishing. Kai Huang, former president and CEO of RedOctane, who along with his brother Charles Huang created Guitar Hero, will continue working at RedOctane.

Rosensweig served as Chief Operating Officer of Yahoo! from 2002 through 2006, where he oversaw the company’s worldwide operations including its product development, marketing, and advertising sales and the development and introduction of inventive new Internet advertising formats.

Additionally, he spent 18 years at Ziff Davis, most recently serving as President where he was responsible for the global operations of the company and the successful merger of ZDNet and CNET.

He held several senior positions during his tenure at Ziff-Davis, including President and Chief Executive Officer of ZDNet, which he built from a standalone Ziff-Davis company to a publicly traded, highly trafficked Internet network, president of Ziff-Davis Internet Publishing Group and VP and publisher of PC Magazine.

Prior to joining Activision, from 2007 – 2009, Rosensweig served as an operating principal at Quadrangle Group, a private investment firm, where he focused on the firm’s media and communications private equity business.

"Under the leadership of Kai and Charles, Guitar Hero established the music gaming genre and became a global phenomenon," said Mike Griffith.

"With the addition of Dan’s proven operational expertise and leadership, we will continue expanding the franchise’s global footprint in new and innovative ways. Dan’s deep understanding of how consumers can be entertained online will be invaluable as we continue to build Guitar Hero’s complementary growth channels, further establish the franchise as an innovative music platform and develop relationships with new business partners."

CEO of Activision Blizzard Bobby Kotick noted: "I had the great pleasure of working with Dan during his tenure at Yahoo!. Dan has a rare combination of deep business expertise, entrepreneurial instincts and an incredible passion for music. We are looking forward to leveraging his proven online experience to build upon the billions of hours of entertainment we deliver each year in the Guitar Hero network."

"I am extremely excited for this opportunity to work with the talented Guitar Hero team, which has transformed the interactive entertainment landscape," said Rosensweig.

"With a platform and content that universally engages a wide range of audiences, Guitar Hero has incredible growth potential. I look forward to continuing to develop Guitar Hero into an even more successful enterprise."

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