Frances Townsend: Corporate Affairs Executive at Activision Blizzard

Activision Blizzard has a new Executive Vice President for Corporate Affairs, Corporate Secretary, and Chief Compliance Officer in Frances Townsend. Frances Townsend comes from a long line of high-ranking government officials. She has worked in counterterrorism for the Bush Administration and also served as Chairwoman of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance.

Townsend was brought on September 14th to replace former Chief Compliance Officer (and general counsel) Thomas Tippl. The move came two days after Activision’s announcement that they were taking legal action against ex-Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella, who had filed a lawsuit of their own in March over unpaid royalties. Around that time, internal emails were leaked suggesting that Activision’s CEO, Robert Kotick, had referred to the studio heads as ‘overly greedy’.

Activision has not made any statement about Townsend replacing Tippl. Many feel that it was simply a replacement to help continue the legal battle with the ex-Infinity Ward employees over the legalities of their non-compete clause and royalty payments.

Townsend has her work cut out for her with the amount of litigation Activision is facing right now. On April 9th, they were sued by some ex-Blizzard employees for unpaid benefits and damages. On top of that, West and Zampella’s new company Respawn Entertainment has also filed a complaint claiming that Bungie’s recent split from Activision violated their non-compete clause.

Activision, meanwhile, seems to be continuing business as usual. On September 16th, they announced the purchase of mobile game developer King for 5.9 billion dollars, which is said to be Activision CEO Bobby Kotick’s largest acquisition yet.

Activision Blizzard has a new Executive Vice President for Corporate Affairs, Corporate Secretary, and Chief Compliance Officer in Frances Townsend. Townsend comes from a long line of high-ranking government officials. She has worked in counterterrorism for the Bush Administration and also served as Chairwoman of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance.

Activision has not made any statement about Townsend replacing Tippl. Many feel that it was simply a replacement to help continue the legal battle with the ex-Infinity Ward employees over the legalities of their non-compete clause and royalty payments.