Mike Morhaime, the man who helped grow Blizzard into one of the biggest names in gaming, is leaving the company entirely later this year. Morhaime ended his tenure at the helm of the company last year and took on an advisory role but he’ll now be calling it quits entirely. Morhaime’s imminent departure is the latest in a long line of farewells across Blizzard and its partner Activision.
Morhaime originally stepped down as Blizzard CEO back in October 2018, giving up the reigns to former World of Warcraft executive J. Allen Brack, though Morhaime did stay on in an advisory role to help if needed. He’ll now be leaving the company entirely, with his last day reportedly being April 7 (via PCGN).
Morhaime has been with Blizzard since the beginning, staying on for the following 27 years which saw the evolution of World of Warcraft, its latest iteration being the wildly successful Battle of Azeroth, while other projects like Overwatch and the Diablo series, were all overseen by Morhaime.
It’s been a fairly bumpy ride for Blizzard since Morhaime stepped down as CEO and while it’s far from being the reason of Blizzard’s recent woes, it seems that Morhaime picked the perfect time to walk off into the sunset. We’ve seen a lot of instability on the financial side of things, with Activision-Blizzard’s chief finance officer (CFO), Spencer Neumann, getting fired amidst reports of him preparing to join Netflix. Then Blizzard’s own CFO, Amrita Ahuja, left to join the payment solutions firm Square Inc. We’ve also seen reports that Activision-Blizzard’s stock prices have dropped substantially in recent weeks.
That stock price dip seems to have been triggered by the disappointing reception that the mobile game Diablo: Immortal received during BlizzCon 2018. And while Activision-Blizzard is a partnership body of the two independent bodies, reports surfaced last year that claimed Activision were playing a larger role in the day-to-day business of Blizzard. News surfaced yesterday that Activision would be parting ways with Bungie on the Destiny series, something that delighted Destiny players but means Blizzard fans could see refocused efforts from Activision as it tries to help stabilize the recent onslaught that Blizzard has gone through.