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Activision picks Yahoo veteran to run Guitar Hero unit

Dan Rosensweig will be charged with figuring out ways to drum up new sales for the popular video game franchise.

March 24, 2009|Alex Pham

Activision Blizzard Inc. said Monday that it hired Dan Rosensweig, former chief operating officer of Yahoo Inc., to head up its multibillion-dollar Guitar Hero business.

Rosensweig left Yahoo in December 2006 after a five-year stint leading its product development and marketing strategy. He departed during a tumultuous time for Yahoo that eventually resulted in a shake-up of the Sunnyvale, Calif., company's senior management, including the departure of Chief Executive Terry Semel.

Activision CEO Bobby Kotick served on Yahoo's board of directors until last year.

After leaving Yahoo, Rosensweig joined Quadrangle Group, where he worked as the New York-based private equity firm's Silicon Valley representative. Before Yahoo, Rosensweig was president of CNet Networks, having merged it with ZDNet.

As president and CEO of Activision's Guitar Hero unit, Rosensweig will be responsible for shepherding the Santa Monica company's popular game, which was co-developed by Activision's Red Octane and Neversoft studios.

Though Guitar Hero games have generated blockbusters over the last three years, some analysts believe growth in the music games genre may be slowing. It will surely be part of Rosensweig's job to figure out ways to drum up new sales.

"With a platform and content that universally engages a wide range of audiences, Guitar Hero has incredible growth potential," Rosensweig said in a statement. "I look forward to continuing to develop Guitar Hero into an even more successful enterprise."

Activision shares gained 46 cents to $10.45.


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