Activision Blizzard is closing the year out by closing the door on its current Chief Financial Officer.
Activision Blizzard has come under considerable fire in the past few months. Gamers have questioned how much influence Activision has at Blizzard. The intense backlash against Blizzard (and by extension, Activision and Activision Blizzard) following the announcements of Diablo: Immortal angered fans. The shuttering of Heroes of the Storm esports offerings Heroes Global Championship (HGC) and Heroes of the Dorm significantly upset fans of the franchise as well. Today, Activision Blizzard announced that it will start proceedings to fire their Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Spencer Neumann. The company’s shares fell by 26.5% in 2018.
The 48-year-old executive has been at the company since 2017. Previously, Neumann held executive positions at The Walt Disney Company from 1999 to 2001 and again from 2012 to 2017. He also worked as executive vice president of ABC from 2001 to 2004 and worked at private equity firms of Providence Equity Partners and Summit Partners from 2005 to 2012.
The Harvard graduate’s firing is unrelated to its current performance in the stock market. According to a filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Neumann is being terminated “for cause unrelated to the Company’s financial reporting or disclosure controls and procedures.” Current Chief Corporate Officer (CCO) Dennis Durkin, who served as the company’s CFO from 2012 to 2017, will take his place. Consequently, Durkin’s replacement at the time is unknown.
Today, Netflix said they will hire Neumann from Activision Blizzard to replace their outgoing CFO, David Wells.
UPDATE (1/1/19): CNBC has announced that Netflix has poached Neumann from the company, and Netflix is expected to make the announcement in the next few days. The streaming media giant is searching for a Los Angeles-based CFO who has experience in production finance. Neumann will take the position of current Netflix CFO David Wells, who is stepping down after 14 years at Netflix.
In addition, Neumann received nearly $10 million in compensation in Activision Blizzard’s previous fiscal year. Could there be a huge shakeup in the company’s future? What do you think? Please let us know in the comments below!