Activision Blizzard Inc. on Tuesday said that it appointed Eric Hirshberg, a marketing and advertising industry veteran, as chief executive of its Activision Publishing unit.

The Santa Monica video game publisher said that Hirshberg, who comes on board Sept. 7, will oversee Activision Publishing's operational management, including its studio, product development and consumer marketing activities.

A UCLA graduate, Hirshberg has been CEO and chief creative officer at Deutsch LA, the Los Angeles branch of the large New York marketing and advertising agency. He oversaw ad campaigns for Sony PlayStation and DirecTV, and created an viral online campaign for Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign.

“I have known Eric for a long time … I am excited that his energy, determination, and keen understanding of popular culture will be added to our extraordinarily talented team,” Activision Blizzard Chief Executive Robert Kotick said in a statement.

Hirshberg succeeds Mike Griffith, who continues as vice chairman at Activision Blizzard. Activision Publishing distributes the "Call of Duty" franchise, as well as the "Tony Hawk" skateboard games and the "Guitar Hero" series. Blizzard Entertainment, the company's other business unit, publishes the "World of Warcraft" online game.

The announcement was made a few hours before the markets closed. Activision shares closed up 29 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $11.41 on the Nasdaq.

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