Activision Blizzard Snags Longtime MLB Vet Tony Petitti as President of Sports and Entertainment

In a massive executive move, gaming and esports giant Activision Blizzard has appointed MLB veteran Tony Petitti as President of Sports and Entertainment. Petitti, who led the launch of MLB Network in 2008 and most recently served as MLB Deputy Commissioner of Business and Media and COO, will oversee esports, consumer products, and film and television for Activision Blizzard. The move marks one of the most significant executive departures from the traditional sports world to the esports and gaming sector to date. Petitti begins on August 17 and will report to Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick.

“Tony is one of the most highly regarded executives in sports and entertainment,” says Kotick. “His success in media and as Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer of Major League Baseball is the perfect blend of skills to help us realize our aspirations for esports and our related businesses. He is admired by owners, media executives, players and fans.”

“Bobby Kotick has been translating his vision into opportunity at Activision Blizzard for 30 years. I couldn’t be more excited to use my own 30 years of sports and entertainment experience to help Activision Blizzard realize its ambitions,” says Petitti. “It’s clear to me the company has an incredible opportunity to connect players and fans in new and innovative ways, and I’m excited to be joining the company at such an important moment in its history. The last 12 years in baseball have been extraordinary for me and I am especially grateful for the leadership and mentorship that Commissioner Manfred provided to me and the League.”

As Deputy Commissioner, Business and Media of Major League Baseball and Chief Operating Officer, he led marketing, broadcasting and media rights sales, the MLB Network, digital content, youth programming and special events. Prior to that, Petitti was President of the MLB Network, which he helped launch from its inception in 2008.

Before joining MLB, Petitti, a 13-time Emmy-award winner, was executive vice-president and executive producer at CBS Sports where he was responsible for the network’s sports programming and production. He graduated from Haverford College before attending Harvard Law School.

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