IRVINE, Calif., Nov. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Michael Morhaime, President, CEO and Co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc., has been named the Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur Of The Year ® 2012 Technology Award winner. Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur Of The Year is the country's most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The award encourages entrepreneurial activity and recognizes leaders and visionaries who demonstrate innovation, financial success and personal commitment as they create and build world-class businesses.
Morhaime was recognized for his commitment to a high standard of quality that has propelled Blizzard Entertainment to the pinnacle of the gaming industry and positioned the company as an internationally recognized leader in interactive entertainment. Morhaime was honored at the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards gala, the culminating event of the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum ® in Palm Springs, Calif. The Forum is the nation's premier gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies. Awards were given in nine additional categories. The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award winners were selected by an independent panel of judges from 244 regional award recipients.
"To use his words, Morhaime has unleashed his 'inner geek,' creating a cultural phenomenon that is unparalleled in the gaming industry," said Bryan Pearce, Americas Director, Entrepreneur Of The Year, Ernst & Young LLP. "Morhaime brings a commitment to quality to his consumers and an inclusive work environment to his company, both of which have contributed to the immense success of Blizzard."
"I get by with a little help from my friends" – and familyBlizzard was started from the ground up with little more than hopes, dreams and a loving grandmother. In 1991, Morhaime decided to leave corporate life and start a company with two partners. There was only one problem: he did not have the seed money to invest, so he approached his grandmother who provided him with a $15,000 loan written on an index card. That card is still displayed in Morhaime's office today. Since then, Blizzard Entertainment has become a market leader in software development and publishing and is renowned for some of the world's most critically acclaimed games and blockbusters such as World of Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo franchises. Blizzard's success under Morhaime's leadership has helped transform the company into a global enterprise, with offices in North America, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Over the past 20 years, Morhaime has navigated Blizzard through changes in corporate ownership and has managed the growth of the company from its three original founders to more than 4,000 employees worldwide. Every voice matters Morhaime has developed a unique cultural environment at Blizzard – one that truly differentiates the company. As a development team finishes one project, it collaborates with the executive team on the next game. By including the development teams in the decision making process, the company is able to foster an environment where developers are extremely passionate and motivated in their work. The development team seeks feedback from employees throughout the company, making the development of a game at Blizzard completely interactive.