DC Comics Hires Former Activision Esport Exec Daniel Cherry as General Manager

Daniel Cherry. Inset: Jim Lee
<p>Daniel Cherry. Inset: Jim Lee</p>   |   Courtesy of DC; Michael Tullberg/Getty Images
The hiring frees up publisher Jim Lee to take on expanded responsibilities surrounding the overall DC brand.

Daniel Cherry, who hails from the world of esports, has been named senior vp and general manager of DC Comics.

In the newly created position, the executive, who is coming from video game behemoth Activision Blizzard where he acted as chief marketing officer of its Esports division, will head up business affairs editorial, talent services, marketing, sales, brand and direct to consumer for DC. He will also oversee business development with current senior vp business strategy, finance and administration, Anne DePies.

Cherry begins the job Sept. 8, reporting to Warner Bros. global brands and experience president, Pam Lifford.

The hiring frees up Jim Lee, the chief creative officer and publisher, to take on expanded responsibilities surrounding the overall DC brand, according to DC, which made the announcement. The company said that Lee will bring his unmatched creativity, passion and innate knowledge of the DC characters and canon to the company’s efforts to evolve the brand and create relevance for new audiences around the world. He is expected to work closely with Cherry.

Cherry said he discovered the job of comics from his father and referenced wanting to build DC knowing he was standing on the shoulders of like Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, Bill Finger, Bob Kane, Neal Adams and Harry Lampert, among other creators.

“While always respecting the past, I also think it’s our responsibility to leverage the cultural power of the DC Comics to entertain and inspire an increasingly diverse global fan base,” Cherry said in a statement. "Comics have the power to create unique imagery and narratives that can move the world toward a better, more inclusive version of itself. It’s my sincere hope that I am able to contribute and help evolve the brand and its relevance for generations to come.”

Cherry’s hiring and the evolving nature of Lee’s role come at a key time for the company. Dan DiDio, who was co-publisher with Lee and took on many operational duties, exited the position in February, giving the company a chance to reframe the job. And Cherry comes in after this summer’s steep WarnerMedia layoffs, which hit DC hard.

As chief marketing officer for Activision Blizzard Esports, he oversaw the global business, brand and gaming content portfolio, putting him in the rising world of gamers who play in front of fans in arenas and helping turn that spectator activity mainstream.

Prior to that, he was chief marketing and innovation officer for the New Jersey Devils NHL franchise. He’s also held marketing and advertising roles at spirits company Diageo, the New York Cosmos, Anomaly and Wieden + Kennedy. In 2000, he was named Adweek’s Guerilla Marketer of the Year for his work with AND 1.