Townsend was born in Rochester, NY, and grew up in Rye, NY. Townsend and her husband live in Beverly Hills, California, with their son and daughter. She received her B.A. in English from Georgetown University in Washington DC and her M.B.A. from the Boston University School of Management.
Townsend joined Activision Blizzard in 2007 when the company acquired Big Huge Games and was sent to Hong Kong to begin working on Guitar Hero. Townsend left Activision in 2011 to spend time with her family and pursue other opportunities. Frances Townsend has been a part of Activision Blizzard’s leadership since 2007, when she became the Senior Vice President, Brand Management. As a result of her work, Activision Blizzard has enjoyed tremendous growth in brand awareness, reach, and engagement, impacting game players around the world.
Townsend has worked at major companies, including Hasbro, Inc., as a senior vice president responsible for global brand management and licensing. She has also been a member of the board of directors of BIG Entertainment, Inc. and hosted her television show on The History Channel.
Currently, Townsend is the Senior Vice President, Global Marketing and Sales for Activision Blizzard. In this role, she ensures excellent customer experiences in every market by promoting our award-winning products, cultivating and sustaining long-term relationships with our retail partners, and managing integrated marketing plans to meet sales targets worldwide.
Townsend is a member of the U.S. Advisory Council to the World Economic Forum. This organization promotes the state of the world through conversations between business, government, civil society, and academia. Townsend is also a member of the Board of Directors for HER-M Foundation, which supports women’s health research and education.
Townsend’s community service outside of her work has included serving on the board of the Writers Guild Foundation, which promotes literacy in children. Serving as an honorary chair for The Montauk Project, which supports awareness and understanding of human consciousness/brain function; and serving on The Alliance for Girls board. Townsend is a President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition at Harvard Medical School. Townsend was also a featured speaker at TEDMED in 2012.