Deutsch's Eric Hirshberg to Join Activision

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Who said playing video games won't get you anywhere? It got Eric Hirshberg a new job. Mr. Hirshberg, co-CEO and chief creative officer of Deutsch, L.A., will join video-game publisher Activision Blizzard as CEO of Activision Publishing effective Sept. 7. In that role, he will oversee the creative and business operations of the Activision studio, including key areas such as product development and consumer marketing.

He will succeed Mike Griffith, who shifts to vice chairman of Activision Blizzard; Mr. Hirshberg will report to Activision Blizzard Chief Operating Officer Thomas Tippl.

Eric Hirshberg
Eric Hirshberg

The jump from a top creative role to a CEO post is sure to be a big change of pace for Mr. Hirshberg, who's spent his entire career in ad land. He started at Deutsch, Los Angeles, in 1997, two years after its inception, alongside the office's now co-CEO Mike Sheldon. Prior to Deutsch, the UCLA graduate spent eight years at Fattal & Collins.

When asked why he is leaving now, when Deutsch, L.A., is a hot shop with great prospects inside a struggling-to-evolve industry, Mr. Hirshberg said the decision is completely personal, and not reflective of the agency or the ad industry in general. "It's a unique opportunity for a guy like me," he said. "It's a chance to take my creativity and the leadership skills I have and apply them to a new area that I'm very passionate about."

The loss of its chief creative rocks the 420-person office, which has long operated very independently from Deutsch's New York operation and has been on the up-and-up. Last fall, Deutsch, Los Angeles won arguably the most coveted pitch of the year when it took home creative duties for Volkswagen of America's $200 million account, which had previously been at Crispin Porter & Bogusky. Other clients of the Lowe & Partners Co. shop include Sony Playstation, HTC, Dr Pepper and Snapple, and DirecTV.

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