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Yuga Labs, the creator of the Bored Ape Yacht Club, has named Activision Blizzard President Daniel Alegre as CEO.
The new hire will be effective in the first half of 2023 (perhaps the timing is vague since Activision Blizzard is being acquired by Microsoft for $68.7 billion). Alegre will succeed Nicole Muniz, who will remain as a partner and strategic advisor to the firm.
Alegre’s job will be to help the Miami-based company accelerate its ambitious vision for blockchain gaming, metaverse development, and community building. Alegre announced he was quitting his job on Friday in an 8K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
It’s a big endorsement of blockchain gaming and Web3 technology, as Alegre steps down as president and COO of the largest (so far) standalone company in the gaming industry to join a startup. who is less than two years old. The young company made a name for itself by launching the Bored Ape Yacht Club in April 2021, at the height of the craze for non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Yuga Labs hopes to turn notoriety and capital into a leading role in emerging metaverse activity.
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Yuga Labs successfully sold $1 billion worth of NFTs to virtual earth prospectors, known as Voyagers, who purchased tokenized plots of land in the virtual world Otherside. It also raised $450 million in March at a valuation of $4 billion.
Alegre will work closely with Yuga Labs founders Wylie Aronow and Greg Solano to continue to grow the business.
In just two years, Yuga Labs has convinced Web3 fans that it can be both a mainstream success and a creative force leading the charge on NFT technology. Yuga made clear its ambitious metaverse plans earlier this year when it announced Otherside, a gamified metaverse inspired by massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs).
After proving it could raise a lot of money from backers, the company now has to deliver on its promise.
Alegre has over 25 years of experience. He served as president and chief operating officer at Activision Blizzard, the #2 job behind longtime CEO Bobby Kotick. In this role, he oversaw the international delivery and marketing of franchises such as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch and Candy Crush Saga. He took on this role in early 2020.
Prior to that, he spent over 16 years at Google where he served as President of Global & Strategic Partnerships, President of Purchasing & Payments as well as President of Asia-Pacific and
“Nicole, Greg and I have been looking for someone with Daniel’s skills for some time,” Aronow said in a statement. “The company, our ambitions and the complexity of the work exceeded our wildest expectations. We are excited to have him join the team to help us in our vision of a truly interoperable metaverse.
He added: “Daniel held one of the highest positions at one of the biggest game companies in the world. He brings valuable experience in entertainment, e-commerce and global strategic partnerships – all of which are essential aspects of an immersive Web3 world built by creators, for creators.
Alegre said in a statement that Yuga Labs has quickly made a name for itself through storytelling and community building.
“The company’s pipeline of products, partnerships and intellectual property represents a huge opportunity to define the metaverse in a way that empowers creators and gives users true ownership of their identity and digital assets,” said he declared. “I look forward to working with passionate people,
Yuga’s creative team to innovate, inspire and shape the future of the internet together.
Muniz joined the company as an advisor in its early days. She became a partner and assumed the role of first CEO, Solano said in a statement.
“Nicole was a trusted leader who helped set up the business with the infrastructure we needed to scale quickly,” Solano said. “She won’t go far, as she will remain a Yuga Labs partner and strategic advisor to help with the transition and beyond.”
Through a spokesperson, Alegre declined an interview request from GamesBeat.
“When I was first asked to advise Yuga Labs for the first time, I immediately understood that they had a new and exciting approach.
community-building approach,” Muniz said in a statement. “I’ve always had a passion for helping start-ups succeed and the growth we’ve achieved at Yuga over the past year has been incredible. I look forward to continuing to help on the sidelines as a partner and advisor. I’m thrilled we found Daniel to keep the momentum going and bring his gaming expertise to hugely ambitious projects like Otherside.
It will be interesting to see if Alegre can lend his credibility to NFTs, which western gamers seem to hate. (Comedy show Mythic Quest skewered the NFT craze in its third season in hilarious fashion.) But many in the industry believe it can disrupt the status quo, bring true ownership of digital assets to gamers, and herald decentralization in the gaming industry.
In a post, Solano and Aronow said, “We have a clear vision for how Yuga can continue to lead Web3, and we are unwavering in our belief that NFTs will reinvigorate the gaming, entertainment and style industries. life while opening up a space of possibility that we cannot yet conceive (although we are beginning to do so).
They added, “When it comes to the metaverse, we compete with giants. In order to propel Otherside and our other ambitious projects to new heights, we’ve known for a long time that we wanted to bring in someone with a proven track record of building to the highest standard possible. Knowing this, Nicole, Wylie and I searched for the right candidate. Our search led us to Daniel Alegre who will become the new CEO of Yuga Labs in the first semester.
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