Michael Morhaime Steps Down as President of Blizzard

A shakeup comes to the house that Warcraft built. Activision Blizzard announced that longtime President and Co-Founder Michael Morhaime would be stepping down from his role. J. Allen Brack will be taking his place, a World of Warcraft executive producer that’s been with the company for a dozen years. Morhaime will remain on as a strategic advisor for Blizzard.

Prior to Blizzard, Brack has worked for Origin Systems on Wing Commander and on Star Wars Galaxies. Brack stated that he plans to continue a “fierce commitment” to quality, community, and purpose in his new role as president. In addition, he expressed excitement regarding what Blizzard is cooking up next and the strength of the developer’s pipeline. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick shared that Brack is “an inspiring leader” that shows “unwavering commitment” to “creative excellence”.

When it comes to companies in the triple A space, few have had as much success as Blizzard. Since taking over the position in 1998, Michael Morhaime oversaw the rise of StarCraft esports, the reign of the Night Elf Mohawk, and the explosion of Overwatch into the public consciousness.

Regarding his time with the company, the outgoing president had this to say:

“I want to thank all of the talented and hardworking people at Blizzard for their dedication, creativity and passion. It has been a privilege to lead this team. I’m also very grateful to Blizzard‘s player community for their support,”

Michael also shared a longer statement on the Blizzard forums, as spotted by Wowpedia.

In addition to this news, two other key figures are moving onto Blizzard’s executive leadership team. Ray Gresko was previously a co-founder of Nihilistic Software and a studio design director at Stormfront Studios. He most recently worked as an executive producer on Overwatch. Allen Adham is another Blizzard co-founder and former executive producer. He served as the company’s first president and overseeing the initial release of StarCraft and Diablo.