Activision Blizzard Fires Its CFO. Netflix Scoops Him Up
Activision Blizzard is embracing the video game industry’s nostalgia wave—only in this instance, it’s in the boardroom.
The publisher of Call of Duty has once again appointed Dennis Durkin to the role of chief financial officer after firing Spencer Neumann “for cause.” Neumann is expected to be named CFO of Netflix in the coming days.
Neumann joined Activision in 2017, coming from Disney. The company’s shares have fallen 26% in the past year. Durkin, meanwhile, served as CFO during one of the company’s strongest periods. (Shares increased 400% when he last held the role from March 2012 to May 2017. In that time, Activision also became the second video game publisher to join the S&P 500.)
Durkin had been serving as chief corporate officer for Activision in the interim.
Assuming the reports of Neumann joining Netflix are accurate, this isn’t the first time the company has been accused of luring away contracted employees from other companies. 21st Century Fox and Viacom have both sued the company for poaching.
The drama comes as as Netflix continues to expand its rosters of shows. Increasingly, streaming film and movie companies and video game publishers are seen as competitors, as people’s leisure time shrinks and the audiences for both move closer together. Game companies, meanwhile, are moving toward a streaming model as well, which could only increase the rivalry.