Activision Blizzard COO Daniel Alegre is leaving the gaming big to take over as CEO of Yuga Labs, the corporate behind the Bored Ape Yacht Membership. Yuga’s first and present CEO Nicole Muniz will keep on as a strategic advisor.
“Nicole, Greg, and I’ve been on the hunt for somebody with Daniel’s ability set for a while,” stated Yuga co-founder Wylie Aronow in a press release. The crypto firm needed to nominate a gaming veteran as CEO to assist work on tasks like Otherside, its metaverse gaming platform. As an govt who oversaw franchises like Name of Responsibility, World of Warcraft and Sweet Crush, Alegre suits the invoice. He additionally labored at Google for greater than 16 years, in roles akin to president of World and Strategic Partnerships.
In March, previous to crypto meltdowns just like the implosion of FTX and Terra’s UST, Yuga Labs raised $450 million from Andreessen Horowitz at a $4 billion valuation. After final month’s FTX bombshell dropped, the worth to purchase your manner into the Bored Ape Yacht Membership had decreased by 82% since its peak in April, based on Decrypt. However the larger business considerations haven’t appeared to stall Alegre.
“Since exploding onto the scene with Bored Ape Yacht Membership in 2021, Yuga Labs has shortly made a reputation for itself by means of a strong mixture of storytelling and community-building,” stated Alegre in a statement. “The corporate’s pipeline of merchandise, partnerships, and IP represents a large alternative to outline the metaverse in a manner that empowers creators and gives customers with true possession of their identification and digital property.”
Alegre isn’t the primary main gaming govt to leap over to crypto. In January, Ryan Wyatt left his role as head of YouTube Gaming to grow to be CEO of Polygon Studios.
The soar from a longtime govt function right into a risky business may appear dangerous, however Activision Blizzard has been riddled with battle itself. A report from The Wall Road Journal final 12 months discovered that Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick knew for years about rampant sexual harassment on the firm, however didn’t act. For over a 12 months, Activision Blizzard staff have protested towards the corporate’s poor handling of ongoing sexual harassment allegations, which partially impressed a historic union motion for the gaming business. However on staff’ option to establishing two formally recognized unions, Alegre was caught within the crossfire.
In October, the Nationwide Labor Relations Board (NLRB) discovered that Activision Blizzard illegally withheld wages from staff who had been within the means of unionizing. In testimony, the NLRB realized that Alegre supplied to fly to Wisconsin to talk with unionizing QA testers at subsidiary Raven Software program. This apply can be barred by the Nationwide Labor Relations Act, although, since it could result in coercion. On the time, Activision Blizzard informed TechCrunch that the corporate denied the accuracy of the criticism, since Alegre’s proposed assembly wouldn’t be necessary and never handle grievances. Moreover, the assembly by no means occurred.
Activision Blizzard’s future possession can be up within the air. Microsoft has an settlement with the gaming firm to accumulate it for $68.7 billion, some of the costly tech acquisitions in historical past. However now, the Federal Commerce Fee is suing to block the deal, claiming that it could stifle competitors.
Alegre’s time period at Activision Blizzard concludes on the finish of March, per an SEC filing. Yuga says that Alegre will take the helm within the first half of 2023.