Vivendi UK closes; Activision-Blizzard team finalised

It’s lift-off for Activision Blizzard this week as the majority of Vivendi’s UK staff complete the switch to Activision’s Stockley Park facility.

Activision Blizzard’s UK managing director Andrew Brown has told MCV that the new team will come together for the first time this week as Vivendi’s office in Marlow is wound down.

We’re getting the whole combined team together this week, so that will be the internal kick-off,” said Brown.

While many feared mass job cuts as a result of the $18.9 billion Activision Blizzard deal, Brown is confident that enforced redundancies have been kept to a minimum.

We’re really pleased with what’s happened – there are some great calibre individuals at Vivendi and in the end, while some people chose to consider their futures elsewhere, a lot of people decided to join us,” Brown told MCV.

The reality is that practically everybody made redundant chose that option. It certainly wasn’t that we said ‘Okay, let’s cut the workforce’ – it didn’t work like that at all.”

We offered people a lot more jobs than were taken in the end. And we’ve tried to make sure everybody who did come across felt that it was a positive move. I think a lot of people made the active choice to join the business rather than feeling they were in a corner.”

While Vivendi’s Marlow office remains open with a skeleton staff, it will be closed soon as Activision Blizzard focuses on making the Uxbridge operation its primary base.

What we’ve discovered is that proximity to our European office is driving lots of benefits. We’re going to look at the expansion of our space to accommodate everybody, but we don’t think it makes any sense having people half an hour away. We’ve got capacity to expand at Stockley Park and the benefits of being close to our European colleagues, so we decided this is the place to be.”

Vivendi UK – who’s moving where

Vivendi’s sales team has been disbanded, with Wayne Friday, Jon Tibble and Sarah Edmonds choosing not to take up roles at the newly-formed Activision Blizzard.

However, Keith Cox takes on a role in trade marketing, focusing on Red Octane. MCV understands that former Vivendi head of sales Dave Gould has moved on to take up a role at SCi.

Other key staff moving from Vivendi to Activision Blizzard include Gareth Turnbull, who becomes UK head of supply chain and, MCV understands, George Georgiou, who will also take up a senior role at the new publisher while Ryan Saunders is joining the supply chain team.

In the marketing department, Scott Wood takes on a senior brand manager role as Gary Chantler moves on, while in PR, at present Lucy Fairbrass has made the switch to Stockley Park and Cat Channon has moved on.

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