Activision Blizzard terminates CFO Spencer Neumann and reappoints previous postholder

Activision Blizzard has parted ways with its CFO, Spencer Neumann, and re-appointed its previous CFO, Denis Durkin, to the position instead.

"I look forward to returning to the role as CFO, and to partnering with the company’s talented management team to drive superior value for our employees, player communities and our shareholders," Durkin said. He’d held the position from 2012 to 2017, during which he’d overseen the acquisition of Candy Crush dev King.

While Activision Blizzard has yet to formally disclose why Neumann has left the company, the publisher stated it intended to terminate Neumann "for cause unrelated to the company’s financial reporting or disclosure controls and procedures". A Reuters source (thanks, purports that he will shortly be named CFO of Netflix.

In the wake of Blizzard’s reveal of mobile game Diablo Immortal, Activision-Blizzard’s shares tumbled, and Blizzard experienced an unprecedented backlash when it closed BlizzCon with the news that Diablo was coming to mobile. Almost 45,000 fans have added their names to a petition calling on Blizzard to cancel the project.

Activision Blizzard recently released its Q3 2018 financial results and reported revenues of $1.51bn (£1.16bn). The firm expected revenues of $1.49bn so it’s up compared to its prior outlook but slightly down year-on-year as it made $1.61bn (1.24bn) during Q3 2017. Breaking down the revenue by company, then CFO Neumann revealed Activision’s Q3 revenue reached $397m (£305m), with the "key contributors [being] Call of Duty digital in-game revenue and Destiny 2: Forsaken, although the latter underperformed [their] expectations".

Meanwhile, Blizzard has been performing extremely well, with revenue up 20 per cent year-on-year thanks to the launch of World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth on August 14th. The expansion broke a record by selling 3.4m units on Day One. With King revenue down 4 per cent year-on-year and operating income down 12 per cent year-on-year, it seems like Blizzard is the driving force for the whole company.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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