Activision Blizzard’s CFO is ousted and appears to be getting hired by Netflix

    
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A world of disappointments.

It’s a new year, but we’ve still got some last vestiges of last year’s corporate ongoings to close out the events of 2018. Isn’t that nice? We sure hope so, since it was a bit of a shock when Activision Blizzard’s CFO, Spencer Neumann, was let go by the company. Neumann was basically immediately snapped up by Netflix to start working there in early 2019, which means that speculation includes his being surreptitiously poached from Activision Blizzard.

This is relevant to the fortunes of no small number of online games we cover here for several reasons, not the least of which being reports from employees about Blizzard becoming much more focused on cost, something that would overlap with the duties of the now-ousted chief financial officer, though Blizzard has said the move is “unrelated to the company’s financial reporting or disclosure controls and procedures.” It’s been a rough year for Activision Blizzard on both the critical side and the financial side as it lost over a quarter of its value in 2018, so this is something to watch closely in the following days for any further aftershocks.

Source: Reuters, CNBC; thanks to Luvly for the tip!

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Venomlicious

I was wondering why i canceled my Netflix also lol

dixa
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dixa

every title for every article related to this has been misleading. the guy was poached or accepted an offer from netflix, so blizzard is terminating his contract for cause so they don’t need to pay out anything extra his contract may stipulate, and to prevent him from being able to access and take with him any additional company data.

this is common practice when dealing with middle and upper management. it is extremely unlikely he was fired for cause due to blizzcon. he is the CFO of a company with more than just Blizzard games.

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rosieposie

And let’s not forget that this corporate dweeb was earning very close to 10 mil a year from Acti-Blizzard, all for coming up with new ways to better nickel and dime players. If anyone ever brings up the argument that 3A games are too expensive to make, well, look no further than all these corporate leeches that we the customers have to support from our thinning wallets.

With the amount of information out there, I will no longer think that people who argue that ‘games are getting too expensive to make for $60 price tag’ or that ‘if a 3A publisher rakes in more money it’s a good thing because it will go into development of new games’ are just ignorant. No, people who genuinely defend this position are pond scum, pure and simple.

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Armsbend

That too expensive to make line is such bullshit – it always was – even when they sold it to dumb gamers 10 years ago.

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Mick the Barbarian

There goes the (Netflix) neighbourhood. Such a shame.

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Utakata

Just goes to say…the more up the ladder you get in this or any 6 figure plus business, the cushier the landing when you fall. o.O

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Mr.McSleaz

Just in time for Me & Everyone I know to Cancel our Netflix accounts.
Canadian Netflix has gone down hill & is nothing but a jumble of Foreign hindi & korean garbage. Not remotely worth the $11/mnth cost.
I can watch all the cheese I want on Tubitv for free, lol.

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Giggilybits

I’m glad I’m not the only Canadian too notice that.

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rafael12104

Don’t you guys in Canada have another streaming service provider by your biggest cable provider? Rogers or something like that?

Don’t know the name, but if I remember what my friends up there told me correctly it seemed better than Netflix here in the states.

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Bryan Correll

Netflix has increasingly been following the HBO model. When Home Box Office got started, that’s exactly what it was: a channel that showed movies. But it didn’t take long for the movies-on-cable business splintered in much the way movie streaming business has been splitting up over the past few years. HBO still shows plenty of movies, but it’s branding is now more based on original programming. Netflix wants to be seen as the home of Stranger Things, Orange is the New Black, etc. You don’t often see Netflix commercials for cinema originals or streaming of older broadcast shows. It’s the proprietary stuff that they promote.

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Dawn

What are you even talking about… Hindi & Korean? All we have in our home is Netflix and we’re watching our usual Netflix shows and movies. Check your settings bro. Lol.

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Arktouros

If Netflix doesn’t have a way to upsell it’s customers with exclusive extra paid content by 2020 I’m going to be severely disappointed in this guy.

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Mr.McSleaz

By 2020 Disney’s streaming service will be up & Netflix will lose it’s Marvel contracts. Marvel is the Only thing keeping Netflix alive right now.

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Armsbend

I’d bet anything the Disney cartoons are much more valuable than anything Marvel will ever put out. People watch Marvel one time…maybe two. Max. Kids will watch princess cartoons dozens of times and not get bored. Millions of parents use netflix as a virtual babysitter or to get through dinner.

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Bryan Correll

Yep, at a certain age kids don’t want to watch a movie. They want to watch the same movie they just saw. Again. For the umpteenth time. Dang it nephew, I don’t want to watch The Ant Bully again. It wasn’t that great the first time I saw it and it hasn’t improved with repeat viewings!

Alyn
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Alyn

Spencer Nuemann was let go. “Neumann, 48, received $9.47 million in total compensation in Activision Blizzard’s most recent fiscal year, a filing says.”- from CNBC

I do NOT shed tears for this man. However, I fear the “optics” going forward for this corporation. Things have not gone well in the past few months. What will 2019 have in store for what is now a very controversial company?

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PanagiotisLial1

Most mmo companies dont make 9.47m the whole year as a profit, lol

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rosieposie

But didn’t you know games are becoming too expensive to make?! Micro-transactions! MORE micro-transactions! *cue crocodile tears*

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Mr.McSleaz

In 2019 Activision will hire more suits that are completely Out Of Touch with their customer base. Instead of asking us what we want they will Tell us what we want & this Controversial Company will continue it’s slow slide to Hell.
The Blizzard we grew up with & Love is DEAD, It’s time for all of us to realize this Fact, Close our wallets to this husk of a Company & move on.

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Bývörðæįr mòr Vas´Ðrakken

starting work that fast usually means the person went looking for a job while they still were working. Though I am sure activision is glad that the people who were involved in the make a scam company are happy working some where else.

So getting rid of people involved in a company that has thousands of counts of fraud annually, no matter the fake good press they generate has to positive in a company that wants to be focused on making fun games. They still have to make profit but I am hoping that activision blizzard turns things around and then they can laugh at someone jumping ship turning out to be a good thing for them.

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Vincent Clark

Could this be seen as a good thing for Blizzard? As in, less emphasis on what is going to make a quick buck and more on developer oriented projects??

I’m probably being overly optimistic.

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Armsbend

I think so. But I wouldn’t look into this one too deeply. He might not have liked the direction the stock was heading in relative to Netflix’s – as his compensation is likely hard coded into share price. He could have gotten a great bump in salary. Its a more glamorous job. People in every facet of life talk about NF all the time – mostly just gamers talk about Acti. NF could house a better boss CEO. Or it could be all the doom and gloom power struggles that people portend here.

Too hard to say imo.

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Bruno Brito

He’ll just be substituted by another suit. We all know that.

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McGuffn

I doubt it, he wasn’t mentioned in the stories about the finance department taking control of Blizzard. There are other forces at work.

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Mr.McSleaz

“less emphasis on what is going to make a quick buck and more on developer oriented ”
Don’t know where you’re getting this from. They already said they are becoming more Cost Focused which is Literally the Opposite of what you just said.