Blizzard President Mike Morhaime steps down, with J. Allen Brack taking over immediately

Big changes are happening at the company.

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There are some big shake-ups currently taking place in the game industry, and it looks like one of its heaviest hitters is seeing some changes at present. Blizzard Entertainment co-founder and president Mike Morhaime has stepped down from his position at the company, effective immediately, the company has announced via press release.

Morhaime will remain at the company as a strategic adviser, while World of Warcraft executive producer J. Allen Brack has taken over as acting president. Chief development officer Ray Gresko and Blizzard co-founder Allen Adam have joined the executive leadership team as well.

Morhaime has departed the company after 12 years, though the announcement cites no reasoning behind his decision to step down.

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

We'll likely be hearing more about the changes at the upcoming BlizzCon 2018, as Morhaime has traditionally delivered the keynote at the event. We'll have to wait and see how things shake out this year. Stay tuned to Shacknews for additional updates. 

Senior Editor

Fueled by horror, rainbow-sugar-pixel-rushes, and video games, Brittany is a Senior Editor at Shacknews who thrives on surrealism and ultraviolence. Follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake and check out her portfolio for more. Like a fabulous shooter once said, get psyched!

From The Chatty

    • reply
      October 3, 2018 10:06 PM

      For mike to just walk away in a day like that means something happened. We might never know what it is.

      • reply
        October 3, 2018 10:25 PM

        #metoo #gamergate #hashtag

      • reply
        October 3, 2018 10:27 PM

        Yeah. Strange. :(

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          October 4, 2018 11:35 AM

          Dude has been there since the beginning, I don't see it as strange

          • reply
            October 4, 2018 11:39 AM

            It's gaming news therefore there has to be some massive controversy that's a slap in the face to someone and everyone.

      • reply
        October 4, 2018 12:11 AM

        The press release doesn't say anything about it being "effective immediately". It says that Mike is staying on as a strategic advisor.

        • reply
          October 4, 2018 6:17 AM

          typically, the transition of a CEO - even a brand CEO - inside a big company is done with a bit more transition time.

      • reply
        October 4, 2018 12:44 AM

        We don't know how long this has been in the works for. Just because the outside heard about it today doesn't mean that internal plans for succession hadn't been happening before. Morhaime has been leading the company for over 25 years, it seems reasonable that he'd decide to retire. He's also staying on board as an adviser, so again, this doesn't seem really strange to me.

    • reply
      October 4, 2018 12:45 AM

      "Morhaime has departed the company after 12 years"

      Morhaime co-founded the company in 1991, he's been at the company for much longer than 12 years

      • reply
        October 4, 2018 6:25 AM

        I think that should read has departed the company after being CEO for 12 years

      • reply
        October 4, 2018 6:29 AM

        the Shack article misunderstood the quote from the press release, J. Allen Brack is the one who has been there for 12 years

        "J. has been with Blizzard for over 12 years leading the World of Warcraft team..."

    • DM7
      reply
      October 4, 2018 7:47 AM

      Interesting. I like Blizzard games. I wonder why he did that?

      • reply
        October 4, 2018 11:35 AM

        He's been at it for a long time. It's possible he's just ready to move on. Life is already tricky with no guarantees, and he's in a fortunate position. If he wants to take time to be retired and just enjoy life, I can't begrudge him that at all.

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      October 4, 2018 12:04 PM

      Is it becuase of the bad reception BfA is getting?

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      October 4, 2018 12:23 PM

      Jeez, you guys are fishing for controversy! He's 50, and has been working at Blizzard for 27 years. I'll bet he just wants to do something else for a while. Or maybe just retire from the industry and enjoy life for a bit.

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        October 4, 2018 12:39 PM

        Honestly it was weirder seeing Metzen quit and retire.

      • reply
        October 4, 2018 12:40 PM

        I would think with Blizzcon around the corner, he's making sure that the exec team has settled in to make the event as good as it can be. No reason to have a doubt of change looming over what should be a fun thing.