Vivendi CEO Levy to chair Activision Blizzard

Jean-Bernard Levy, Chief Executive of Vivendi, attends the company's 2008 annual results presentation in Paris March 2, 2009. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) - Vivendi said on Tuesday that Chief Executive Jean-Bernard Levy will also become chairman of Activision Blizzard, the world’s top video games company known for its “Guitar Hero” franchise.

Levy will replace current Activision Blizzard Chairman Rene Penisson, who is retiring as his mandate expires this year, Europe’s largest entertainment group said in a statement.

The current chief executive of Activision Blizzard is Robert Kotick.

Penisson, 67, joined Vivendi in 2002. He was also head of Vivendi’s Human Resources division. Penisson will be replaced in that position by Stephane Roussel, who was until now head of Human Resources at SFR, the telecoms arm of Vivendi.

Vivendi merged its games division with Activision in July 2008, creating Activision Blizzard, in which its has a 54 percent stake.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon