By Rob Starr, Content Manager, Big4.com
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. 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.
Blizzard 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.
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.