Activision Blizzard Games CTO: Stop the Bad Guys with Trust Circles
by Jim Lundy
At the first annual Fuze Flex Summit on June 5th, I interviewed Pavel Murnikov, the CTO of Activision Blizzard Games. His 100 person team helps to ensure the safety and security of the overload online professional game events.
In our fireside chat, we discussed what it takes to not only produce these events, but how to stop the bad guys. The highlight reel from the overboard division got the audience going as did the best practices Pavel shared on how they stay ahead of the bad guys.
Pavel discussed how he gets to know his team and how he builds trust circles. Pavel always meets with a new staff member face-to-face the week that they start. He focuses on very high levels of trust so that his team always knows they can count on each other. As I was talking this week with a client who is a CMO, I discussed Trust Circles. It turned out that this person was doing exactly that—traveling to different cities to meet their teams and build relationships on the foundation of trust.
Virtual Work Still Varies By Tenure
Working virtually, Pavel’s team has had zero turnover. That says something for the quality of hires they make but also to the fact that these are highly technical individuals who like their work and the fact that they can work remote. I mentioned to Pavel that near our offices in Silicon Valley, Apple, Facebook, and Google require people to come into the office. My explanation for that is that many of them are building products and that can be hard to do if everyone is remote. That said, I have managed large remote teams and it takes a certain set of skills to do that along with a clear set of expectations and deliverables.
All in all, it was a great chat. Pavel and his team are clearly doing things from an event and security perspective that have enabled Activision Blizzard Major League Games to thrive, despite all the repeated attempts to hack them. There are lessons here from Pavel’s discussion. The biggest of them all is his best practice of building Trust Circles with his staff.