Here are some of the top personnel moves in marketing over the last week. Our congratulations to these people taking on new challenges!

NBCUniversal Brand Development Appoints New EVP

NBCUniversal Brand Development named Chris Heatherly as executive vice president of worldwide games and digital platforms. Starting on September 30, Heatherly will head up the unit that creates interactive gaming experiences and digital content for consoles, mobile and PC platforms with the goal of broadening game development and growing NBCUniversal’s properties across digital platforms and emerging technologies. Heatherly has over 20 years of experience in the games and technology industry, and was most recently the VP and GM of Disney’s games and apps division.

IBM Names First Chief Marketing Officer

Michelle Peluso has been named as IBM’s VP and chief marketing officer—a new position at the company. Peluso will begin her position on October 3, as the importance of marketing is continuing to grow at the technology company,  and will lead the way toward accelerating its marketing efforts. Peluso also currently serves on the board of directors for Nike, Technoserve and Tech:NYC.

Time Inc. Names New CEO

Rich Battista has been named the president and CEO of Time Inc., replacing Joe Ripp. The company stated that Ripp will continue to lead the Time Inc. board as its executive chairman. Battista has 25 years of experience in the media industry and joined Time Inc. last year from Mandalay Sports Media, where he was CEO.

World of Warcraft Creator Begins New Adventure

Formerly Blizzard Entertainment’s chief creative officer, game designer Rob Pardo announced the launch of Bonfire Studios, based in Irvine. The company includes a handful of games industry veterans and is backed by Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreesen Horowitz and Riot Games. Pardo details the inspiration behind the company in a blog post, and the studios purpose will be to “build friendships by creating legendary game experiences that bring players closer together, united in a sense of adventure, exploration and fellowship.”

More Adventures Beyond Blizzard

Chris Metzen, SVP of story and franchise development at Blizzard Entertainment, longtime industry veteran, and creator hit franchises such as Diablo, Warcraft and StarCraft is leaving the video game industry and going into retirement so that he can focus his attention on his family. Metzen wrote a post on the World of Warcraft forums announcing his retirement and detailing his time at Blizzard, which spans 22 years.

A+E Networks Appoints Chief Marketing Coordinator

A+E Networks has promoted Amanda Hill to the newly created position of chief marketing coordinator. Previously, she had been the chief creative officer who oversaw A+E Networks’ international marketing, communications and programming teams. In her new role, Hill will manage marketing for A+E portfolio of brands in the US and abroad, across all platforms.

From Angry Birds To Brand Breaker

Peter Vesterbacka, once listed as one of Time’s most influential people, has been named “brand breaker” and company evangelist for the learning game studio Lightneer Inc. Formerly known as Mighty Eagle, Vesterbacka was the brand ambassador for Rovio’s Angry Birds franchise. He is also a founding member of Lightneer and served as a board member and investor until now. Lightneer is currently working on its debut puzzle role-playing game, Big Bang Legends, which launches in 2017 for mobile devices and is being designed to help teach physics and chemistry to players.

Crossing From Sports to ESports

Veteran Fox Sports executive, Pete Vlastelica, was named CEO and president of Major League Gaming (MLG), which is owned by Activision Blizzard. Vlastelica joins industry veterans Steve Bornstein and Mike Sepso as part of the company’s eSports leadership team and “will expand and enhance the company’s broadcast, content and distribution leadership across the global eSports ecosystem,” according to a press release.

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