According to Yahoo Activision Blizzard is poised to fire its Chief Financial Officer Spencer Neumann for an "unspecified reason."
Activision Blizzard has had a bit of a turbulent year, owing to a steady to decline in that all-important monthly active user (MAU) count, with weak growth across many of its major properties. Despite setting sales records in 2018, franchises like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft seemingly aren't hitting engagement targets for Activision Blizzard. A stint of poor decisions among its "Games as a Service" titles has arguably begun alienating core fans, particularly in its Blizzard subsidiary, while stiff competition from Fortnite seems to be impacting Call of Duty. Activision shares are down 26 per cent in 2018, and could decline even further.
Yahoo reports that Activision's CFO's firing is "unrelated to the Company's financial reporting or disclosure controls and procedures," but beyond that, no reason has been given. A separate report from HollywoodReporter states that Neumann is expected to move to Netflix following his departure.
Recent rumors have suggested that Activision Blizzard's finance department has been instrumental in creating chaos within the Blizzard subsidiary, with reports and rumors that finance has actually been involved in creative decisions, which simply wasn't the case in previous years. Whether or not Neumann was involved in that is unknown, but it's not a stretch to speculate. It'll be interesting to see how Activision Blizzard moves forward in 2019, after what was widely regarded as a very challenging 2018 for the mega-publisher.
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