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Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg Is Leaving the Company

January 18, 2018, 10:20 PM UTC

Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg, who is responsible for the gaming franchises Call of Duty, Destiny, and Skylanders, is leaving the company in March after eight years at the helm.

Activision Publishing is a division of Activision Blizzard (ATVI), the video game powerhouse that publishes some of the most popular titles in gaming history, including multiplayer combat series World of Warcraft and smartphone-based game Candy Crush Saga.

Activision Blizzard, which confirmed to Fortune that Hirshberg is leaving, is actively conducting a search for the next CEO of its Publishing division. Hirshberg’s departure was first reported by VentureBeat.

“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,” a spokesperson for Activision said in an emailed statement. “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 said in a statement that serving as Activision Publishing’s CEO has been an honor and a thrill.

“This is an amazing company,” Hirshberg 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.”

Hirshberg came on board at Activision during a critical time after several sudden departures and legal troubles between the company and members of its Infinity Ward Call of Duty development studio.

During his tenure, Hirshberg launched Destiny with developer Bungie in 2014. He also launched the Skylanders franchise, which debuted in 2011 and sold 300 million action figures and related toys by 2017.

One of the company’s more recent successes includes Call of Duty: WWII, which recorded sales of over $500 million in its first three days of availability, according to Activision. The game also set a record for day one digital sales on the PlayStation 4 console. Launched in November, it became the best-selling video game of 2017.

“Eric has had a great run, has delivered many historic successes and is departing on a high note after a great year in 2017,” an Activision spokesperson wrote in an emailed statement, noting that as of Dec. 21, Call of Duty: WWII and Destiny 2 were the two top-selling console games of 2017 in North America, based on revenue.

In 2017, Activision Blizzard earned a spot on the Fortune 500 list for the first time in the company’s 37-year history.