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Bored Ape Creator Yuga Labs Nabs New CEO From Gaming Giant Activision Blizzard

Daniel Alegre heeds the call of duty to leave a stalled Microsoft acquisition to helm Otherside development.

3 min read
Incoming Yuga Labs CEO Daniel Alegre's new PFP, Mutant Ape #3850.

Daniel Alegre is the new CEO of Yuga Labs. His new gig was revealed this morning, less than 72 hours after it was announced that he was stepping down from his position as President and COO of Activision Blizzard.

Luring Alegre over to the blockchain technology company behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club, CryptoPunks and Otherside is quite a corporate coup for Yuga Labs. While helping to lead Activision Blizzard since early 2020, Alegre had a hand in developing well-known brands like Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, and Candy Crush. His resume also includes 16 years spent across several leadership roles at Google.

"Daniel has held one of the highest level roles at one of the largest gaming companies in the world," Yuga Labs co-founder Wylie Aronow said in a prepared statement. "He brings valuable experience across entertainment, e-commerce, and global strategic partnerships, all of which are critical aspects of an immersive Web3 world built by creators and for creators."

Alegre's move comes less than two weeks after the FCC announced a lawsuit to stop Microsoft from acquiring Activision Blizzard, a $69 billion deal announced in January as a bold, strategic move toward the metaverse by the Redmond, Wash.-based tech giant.

According to the company, Alegre will also use Mutant Ape Yacht Club #3850 as his new profile picture (PFP).

Yuga Labs says Alegre will take the helm in the first half of 2023, and that the company's first and current CEO Nicole Muniz will remain on the team as a partner and strategic adviser.

Muniz said last month that the company is "trying to hire the best and brightest to build the next phase of the internet," and had brought mobile gaming exec Spencer Tucker aboard as the company's chief gaming officer in September.

“Yuga Labs has quickly made a name for itself through a powerful combination of storytelling and community-building,” Alegre said in the statement, touting "a massive opportunity to define the metaverse in a way that empowers creators and provides users with true ownership of their identity and digital assets."

Yuga's gaming ambitious are epitomized by Otherside, one of the biggest NFT project launches this year with nearly $1.1 billion in total mint and trading volume, per data from CryptoSlam—although trading momentum has fallen along with the rest of the NFT market in recent months.

Described by the company as "a gamified metaverse that will be interoperable," Otherside will be a major focus of Alegre's attention.

"In order to catapult Otherside and our other ambitious projects to new heights, we’ve known for a long time we wanted to bring in someone with a proven track record of building at the highest possible level," Aronow and fellow Yuga Labs cofounder Greg Solano wrote in a blog post today. "Daniel is a seasoned, visionary executive who shares our passion for innovation and creativity."

Aronow and Solano were famously outed as Yuga Labs' formerly pseudonymous founders in February. The following month, the company announced a $450 million seed fundraising round at a $4 billion valuation.

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