Petitti leaves MLB after 12 years for video, esports company

NEW YORK (AP) — Tony Petitti is leaving Major League Baseball after 12 years to become president of sports and entertainment for the video game and esports company Activision Blizzard Inc. on Aug. 17.

Petitti was one of two deputy commissioners under baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, in charge of business and media. Dan Halem is deputy commissioner for baseball administration and chief legal officer.

Activision Blizzard said Monday that Petitti will report to CEO Bobby Kotick and will oversee esports, consumer products, and film and television.

A graduate of Haverford College, Petitti attended Harvard Law School. He worked for ABC and was executive vice president and executive producer at CBS Sports, then became responsible for the CBS College Sports Network, formerly CSTV. He was hired in April 2008 as president and chief executive officer of the MLB Network, set to launch the following Jan. 1.

As Manfred prepared to succeed Bud Selig as baseball commissioner, Petitti became MLB’s chief operating officer in December 2014. He was promoted to the deputy commissioner role three years later and was in charge of all content and revenue-related operations.

Formed in the 2008 merger of Activision and Vivendi Games, Activision Blizzard has properties including esports’ Overwatch League and Call of Duty League.

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