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Activision executive Daniel Alegre is appointed CEO of Bored Apes creator Yuga Labs

Former Activision Blizzard COO Daniel Alegre is taking the helm as CEO of Yuga Labs, the studio responsible for the Bored Ape Yacht Club. Nicole Muniz, the company’s current and first CEO, will remain on board in a new role as a strategic adviser.

In a news announcement, Yuga co-founder Wylie Aronow remarked, “Nicole, Greg, and I have been on the quest for someone with Daniel’s skill set for some time.” The cryptocurrency firm sought a gaming industry experience for the CEO position so that they could incorporate their expertise into initiatives like the development of the Otherside metaverse gaming platform. The profile of Alegre, an executive who led successful brands including “Call of Duty,” “World of Warcraft,” and “Candy Crush,” is a good fit. He has spent over sixteen years at Google in various capacities including President of Global and Strategic Partnerships.

Yuga Labs secured $450 million from Andreessen Horowitz in March, at a $4 billion valuation, before the crypto meltdowns that included the fall of FTX and Terra’s UST. When the FTX bombshell was finally released last month, Decrypt reported that the cost of joining the Bored Ape Yacht Club had reduced by 82% since its April high. But Alegre hasn’t been stopped by industry-wide worries.

“Since exploding onto the scene with Bored Ape Yacht Club in 2021, Yuga Labs has quickly made a name for itself through a powerful combination of storytelling and community-building,” said Alegre in a statement. “The company’s pipeline of products, partnerships, and IP represents a massive opportunity to define the metaverse in a way that empowers creators and provides users with true ownership of their identity and digital assets.”

In the gaming industry, Alegre is not the only high-ranking executive to switch to cryptocurrency. For the position of chief executive officer of Polygon Studios, Ryan Wyatt departed from YouTube in January.

Moving from a secure CEO position into an unsteady sector may sound dangerous, but Activision Blizzard has had its fair share of internal strife. The CEO of Activision Blizzard, Bobby Kotick, was discovered by the Wall Street Journal to have known for years about widespread sexual harassment at the firm but had done nothing to stop it. Activision Blizzard employees have been protesting for over a year due to the company’s terrible treatment of persistent sexual harassment charges, which has helped spark a groundbreaking union movement in the gaming industry. However, Alegre became a pawn in the struggle when two separate union drives were launched by employees.

Activision Blizzard was found guilty of unlawfully withholding wages from workers in October by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Alegre volunteered to go to Wisconsin to meet with unionising QA testers at Raven Software, the company’s subsidiary, the NLRB heard in evidence. However, due to the potential for coercion, the National Labor Relations Act would prohibit this practise. Since Alegre’s planned meeting would not be obligatory and would not address issues, Activision Blizzard informed TechCrunch that the corporation contested the truth of the accusation. What’s more, the gathering never happened.

The question of who will own Activision Blizzard in the future is also unanswered. Microsoft has agreed to purchase the gaming firm for $68.7 billion, making it one of the most costly tech acquisitions ever. The FTC has filed suit to stop the merger, arguing that it will reduce competition and harm consumers.

According to an SEC filing, Alegre’s employment with Activision Blizzard will finish at the end of March. The first part of 2023, according to Yuga, will see Alegre assume leadership.