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Activision snags former Yahoo COO to head up Guitar Hero business

March 23, 2009 |  6:50 am

Activision Blizzard said today that it hired Dan Rosensweig, former chief operating officer of Yahoo, to head up its multibillion-dollar Guitar Hero business.

Rosensweig left Yahoo in December 2006 after a five-year stint leading the Sunnyvale, Calif., company's product development and marketing strategy. His departure occurred during a tumultuous time for Yahoo that eventually resulted in a shakeup of the company's senior management, including the departure of Chief Executive Terry Semel.

Activision CEO Bobby Kotick served on Yahoo's board of directors until last year.

After Yahoo, Rosensweig joined Quadrangle Group, where he worked as the New York-based private equity firm's Silicon Valley representative. Prior to Yahoo, Rosensweig served as president of CNet Networks, having merged it with ZDNet.

As president and CEO of Activision's Guitar Hero franchise, Rosensweig will be responsible for shepherding the Santa Monica company's popular game, which was co-developed by Activision's Red Octane and Neversoft studios. Though Guitar Hero games have generated blockbusters over the past three years, growth in the music games genre may be slowing. It will surely be part of Rosensweig's job to figure out ways to drum up new sales.

"I am extremely excited for this opportunity to work with the talented Guitar Hero team, which has transformed the interactive entertainment landscape," Rosensweig said in a statement announcing the hire, which was first reported by AllThingsD. "With a platform and content that universally engages a wide range of audiences, Guitar Hero has incredible growth potential. I look forward to continuing to develop Guitar Hero into an even more successful enterprise."

-- Alex Pham

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