The big picture: Blizzard co-founder Mike Morhaime has been with the company for more than half of his life but after 27 years, it's time to move on. Under his leadership, Blizzard developed some of the best games around including World of Warcraft, Diablo and Starcraft, just to name a few.

Blizzard Entertainment co-founder Mike Morhaime has stepped down from his role as president and CEO of the popular developer and publisher.

In announcing his decision, Morhaime handed the reins over to World of Warcraft executive producer J. Allen Brack, a company man of nearly 13 years.

Morhaime has been with Blizzard since the very beginning – way back in 1991 when it launched as Silicon & Synapse. After 27 years, however, Morhaime said it’s now time for someone else to lead Blizzard. He will stick around as an advisor to the company but didn’t elaborate on any future career plans.

Brack said he feels a deep sense of gratitude to Morhaime and views his selection as both a huge honor and a tremendous responsibility.

As part of the executive shuffle, 10-year Blizzard vet Ray Gresko has been promoted to chief development officer. Blizzard’s original founder, Allen Adham, is also joining the executive team and will continue to oversee the development of several new games.

Blizzard’s 12th BlizzCon convention is less than a month away. The two-day event is scheduled for November 2-3 at the Anaheim Convention Center. Virtual Tickets to the event, which include access to the World of Warcraft Classic demo, can be had for $49.99.

Lead image via Neville Elder, Getty Images