Activision Blizzard hires senior executives from Disney and Delta

Activision Blizzard, has announced the hiring of two senior executives to help the company build a more inclusive workplace as well as diversify and grow its revenue.

Julie Hodges, senior vice president, corporate HR and compensation, benefits and talent acquisition at The Walt Disney Company, will become chief people officer, effective 21 September. Sandeep Dube, senior vice president, revenue management at Delta Airlines, will become chief commercial officer, effective 27 September.

“These two outstanding leaders from companies with exceptional reputations will help us achieve our goal of becoming the best company to work for in the entertainment industry while growing our reach, engagement and player investment,” said Activision Blizzard chief executive officer Bobby Kotick.

Hodges brings more than three decades of global human resources experience in entertainment and an impeccable record of shaping corporate culture. She will be responsible for the company’s global talent organization, making Activision Blizzard the destination for top talent. In her role, she will lead all aspects of human resources, including diversity, equity and inclusion, talent acquisition, employee experience, learning and development, compensation and benefits and workforce planning.

“I can’t think of a better person to join our team and help lead our ongoing commitment to an inclusive workplace. Julie is the seasoned leader we need to ensure we are the most inspiring, equitable and emulated entertainment company in the world,”Kotick said. 

“I share the company’s belief that a work environment should welcome all perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds. A workforce where everyone feels valued is critical to the success of our business, as is a trusting, engaging and safe environment that encourages creativity and innovation and in which all employees can thrive. It takes a collective effort to do this, and I’m looking forward to ensuring that we support the diversity of our talent to bring our people together and continue creating amazing entertainment,” Hodges said. 

In her 32 years at Disney, Hodges led Human Resources for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, the Talent Acquisition Center of Excellence, HRBP for Worldwide Operations, and Disney University/Learning and Development, Organisation Development and Cast Research. Hodges earned a BS degree from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. She replaces Claudine Naughton, who is leaving the company.

Dube will oversee Activision’s global Sales and go-to-market teams. He will be responsible for developing and implementing commercial strategy and delivering on the company’s revenue growth plan.

“Sandeep is a rare leader who not only has the ability to expand our global go-to-market teams, but also bring his diverse experience from an accomplished career to unite our commercial group. Our mission is to connect and engage the world through epic entertainment. While Sandeep connected the world through air travel at Delta, he created a growth-oriented culture that was focused on the very best customer experiences. The innovations he inspired created incredible customer loyalty. We are excited to continue our work on revenue growth with an even greater focus on recognizing and rewarding our players,” Kotick said. “

Dube said, “I couldn’t be more excited to join this team and work together to continue building our inclusive culture and to expand our audiences.”

Before joining Activision, Dube led revenue management, product strategy, and commercial delivery at Delta. Notably, he played a key role in building the company’s loyalty program and steering the airline through the volatile demand environment created by the pandemic. Prior to Delta, Dube worked for more than a decade in the banking industry as a commercial and marketing leader, driving revenue growth for consumer-lending businesses.

Dube holds an engineering degree from the Indian Institute of Technology and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management. He is filling the role left vacant after Armin Zerza was promoted to Chief Financial Officer earlier this year.

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