President of Blizzard Entertainment J. Allen Brack stepped down today after weeks of controversy over the company’s alleged sexist culture. On July 20, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing submitted a Explosive suit Accused Blizzard’s parent company Activision Blizzard’s rampant sexism.
Activision Blizzard employees Say Braque’s departure is only one step in solving systemic problems. “No one is responsible for Blizzard’s culture; ABK’s problems are beyond Blizzard’s scope and require systematic changes,” Activision Blizzard’s King Workers’ Union wrote on Twitter, which claimed to be “driven by existing actions”. As an organization of Blizzard’s employees, we are committed to defending our right to a safe and fair workplace.”
Blizzard’s Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra will succeed Brack as co-presidents. Oneal was formerly the head of Vicarious Visions’ studio to develop Tony Hawk and Skywalker series. (Activision acquired the studio in 2005.) Oneal has participated in a number of initiatives to improve female leadership. Ybarra worked at Blizzard for approximately two years as executive vice president. He was previously the corporate vice president of Microsoft Xbox, where he worked for 19 years.
“I believe Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra will provide the leadership Blizzard needs to realize its full potential and will accelerate the pace of change,” Brack wrote. A message Publish to Blizzard.com. “I expect them to do this with enthusiasm and enthusiasm, and they can be trusted to lead with the highest level of integrity and commitment to our cultural component that makes Blizzard so special.” Brack has been at Blizzard since 2006 and most recently served as World of Warcraft. Since October 2018, he has been the president of Blizzard.
“The leadership of J. Allen Brack and Activision Blizzard is very clear that in view of the future critical work in workplace culture, game development and innovation, Blizzard Entertainment needs a new direction and leadership,” the company said “Said in a statement in the magazine.
This morning’s announcement ended weeks of turmoil at Activision Blizzard. DFEH’s complaint disclosed distressing details about the company’s so-called “fraternal boy” culture, alleging inequalities ranging from pay differentials to tolerance for sexual misconduct. Braque is one of the few people specifically mentioned in the lawsuit. DFEH stated that he received “a large number of complaints about unlawful harassment, discrimination and retaliation”, including World of Warcraft Senior creative director Alex Afrasiabi.Allegedly, Afrasiabi had sexually harassed female employees and held a nickname at Blizzard Carnival around 2013 “Cosby Suite.” A spokesperson said that after investigation, Afrasiabi was fired in 2020 Tell Kotaku.
On July 23, shortly after the DFEH investigation became public, Braque sent an email to employees calling the allegations “very disturbing.” In that letter, Braque recalled that when Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotic offered him the job, “the first thing I mentioned was a respected member of the Braque family. The saint of Gloria Steinham.” Brack also pointed out that he could not comment on the specifics of the DFEH case because it was a public investigation.
Although Brack’s e-mail sounded a bit conciliatory, Activision Blizzard’s leadership was more broadly dismissive. A statement from a spokesperson claimed that DFEH’s complaint included “a misrepresentation of Blizzard’s past, which in many cases is a false description.” Fran Townsend, chief compliance officer of Activision Blizzard, called the lawsuit “really baseless and irresponsible.”
Strong opposition from employees and fans. Activision Blizzard employees, especially those who have experienced discrimination in the company, believe that this response lacks responsibility and empathy. Hundreds of Activision, Blizzard, and King employees (all under Activision Blizzard) began to coordinate to show solidarity with these victims. More than 3,000 current employees signed a letter condemning the leadership’s response. In another letter, the employee organizer requested that the mandatory arbitration clause in the contract be terminated. Their requirements also include salary transparency, a diversified recruitment policy, and the establishment of an employee-appointed working group to review human resources and executives. (Kotick later apologized for the initial reaction of the “deaf and dumb”, Say He will evaluate leaders, review hiring practices, and investigate claims. )