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Activision Blizzard Names Microsoft's Durkin To CFO Post

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI) tapped Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) executive Dennis Durkin to serve as its new chief financial officer. The executive appointment comes less than a week after the company said it will lay off about 600 employees in its Blizzard Entertainment unit, which runs the popular "World of Warcraft" online fantasy-game franchise. About 90% of the job cuts will come from departments "not related to game development," the company said. Activision Blizzard's earnings have improved in recent quarters as the company gears up for the release of several big titles this year. Durkin, 41 years old, will take the CFO role from current Chief Operating Officer Thomas Tippl, who has filled in as the videogame company's interim finance chief since his promotion to COO in 2010. Durkin has worked at Microsoft since 1999. He most recently served as the chief operating and financial officer in charge of Microsoft's interactive entertainment business, which makes the tech giant's Xbox gaming system. Activision Blizzard's shares were recently up a penny at $11.68 Monday. The stock is off 5.2% so far this year. -By Drew FitzGerald, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2909;

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