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Hirshberg stepping down as Activision Publishing CEO

Head of Call of Duty and Destiny publisher leaving in March after eight years in role

The publisher for Call of Duty needs a new commanding officer. As reported by VentureBeat, Activision Publishing's Eric Hirshberg announced to his employees today that he is leaving the company.

An Activision spokesperson confirmed the report, saying Hirshberg will part ways with the company when his contract ends March 31.

"Eric has had a great run, has delivered many historic successes and is departing on a high note after a great year in 2017," the spokesperson said, noting that Call of Duty: WWII and Destiny 2 were the two best-selling console games of 2017 in North America, based on revenue. "Eric leaves the company in a strong position for growth, with the franchises, pipeline of future products, and leadership team all in a great place. We are grateful for Eric's strong leadership during his tenure. He is departing with our utmost respect and gratitude for his contributions to the company."

Hirshberg joined Activision Publishing in 2010 from marketing agency Deutsch, L.A., where he was co-CEO and chief creative officer. Hirshberg's stint with the comapny is marked by the ongoing success of Call of Duty, the launch of the Destiny franchise, and the creation of the toys-to-life genre with Skylanders.

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick released a statement celebrating the company's "historic performance" under Hirshberg, saying, "He is an inspiring leader, and we will all miss his creativity and tenacity very much. He is leaving the team, the franchises and the business in a great place, and he goes with my full support and appreciation."

In his own statement, Hirshberg said serving as the CEO for the last eight years had been "an honor and a thrill."

"This is an amazing company," he said. "One which routinely delivers epic experiences for our fans on a scale that no one else can. I have nothing but admiration for the incredible team I have had the privilege to lead. And I have nothing but appreciation for Bobby for giving me this transformational opportunity, and also for having the vision and conviction to champion a creative person for a leadership role on this scale."

Activision said it is currently searching for Hirshberg's successor.

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