Former *Yahoo* COO Dan Rosensweig’s name has come up in the running for a number of high-profile Web positions in recent months: including Yahoo’s hunt for a new CEO and Microsoft’s search for a head of advertising. But All Things D reports that Rosensweig is headed in a completely different direction: he’s moving to Activision (NSDQ: ATVI) Blizzard, where he’ll head up the Guitar Hero franchise as president and CEO.
Rosensweig, who currently serves as a partner at PE firm Quadrangle Group, will have his work cut out for him: Activision plans to release twice as many Guitar Hero games this year than it did in 2009, including a new title called DJ Hero aimed at fans that are into electronic music and hip-hop. And while he doesn’t have gaming experience, he was actively involved in the launch of *Yahoo* Music; he’s also familiar with Activision Chairman and CEO Bobby Kotick, since Kotick served on Yahoo’s board during Rosensweig’s tenure as COO. More after the jump.
In the midst of the credit crisis, the shift in focus makes sense: it’s harder for firms like Quadrangle to find and invest in worth-while startups, but the video game industry continues to thrive, particularly on the success of music games like Guitar Hero. Rosensweig will be the second high-profile departure for Quadrangle in the past month, as founder Steve Rattner left at the end of February to join the Obama administration; the firm also shut down its media hedge fund last November.
Update: Here is the official release from Activision. Rosensweig will serve as President and CEO of RedOctane, the business unit that develops Guitar Hero. Activision acquired RedOctane in 2006; former President and CEO Kai Huang, along with Charles Huang, his brother and co-founder, will continue working for the unit under Rosensweig.
Photo Credit: dfarber