Johanna Faries

Microsoft Appoints Johanna Faries As Blizzard President One Week After 1,900 People Were Laid Off

Last week, Microsoft announced it was laying off 1,900 people across the gaming division. It was a situation handled poorly, with many unsure if they had been let go, resorting to asking journalists whether or not they had a job. Among those no longer at Microsoft is Mike Ybarra, the former president at Blizzard.

In a post-merger Activision Blizzard, the first executive appointment is Johanna Faries, who steps into the role vacated by Ybarra. Faries previously worked on Call of Duty , focusing on esports; before that, she served in the NFL.

“Though my official first day with you all is February 5, I want to let you know immediately that it is an honor to join you next week in this new capacity. I do so humbly and in awe of all that Blizzard has stood for and delivered to the world for over thirty years. Today also brings some mixed emotions. The loss of talented teammates in recent days is hard to hold side-by-side with the immense excitement I feel about joining Blizzard – and building on the momentum you’ve created for Blizzard’s next chapter,” says Faries in a blog post.

In the same post, she said, “I am committed to doing everything I can to help Blizzard thrive, with care and consideration for you and for our games, each unique and special in their own right.”