Content warning: this article contains references to sexual harassment, sexual assault, and suicide.
J. Allen Brack, the president of Blizzard, is leaving the company following the ongoing lawsuit regarding alleged incidents of harassment at the publisher.
As a reminder, the State of California has issued a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, accusing the company of fostering a ‘frat boy’ working culture that’s particularly predatory towards marginalised employees. The company was originally dismissive of the lawsuit, calling the accounts ‘distorted, and in many cases false’.
How is Blizzard’s leadership changing?
Brack’s resignation was announced via a post on the official Blizzard Entertainment blog. Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra are set to take over Brack’s role as co-leaders of the company. As for where Brack is headed next, Bloomberg journalist Jason Schreier claims that he’s “leaving the company to pursue new opportunities”. That’s sourced via an email from Activision Blizzard president Daniel Alegre. Bobby Kotick will remain the CEO of Activision Blizzard.
“I am confident that Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra will provide the leadership Blizzard needs to realize its full potential and will accelerate the pace of change,” writes Brack in a statement. “I anticipate they will do so with passion and enthusiasm and that they can be trusted to lead with the highest levels of integrity and commitment to the components of our culture that make Blizzard so special.”
Elsewhere in the blog post, the company addresses how its new leaders are aiming to improve working conditions for its staff moving forward. “Both leaders are deeply committed to all of our employees; to the work ahead to ensure Blizzard is the safest, most welcoming workplace possible for women, and people of any gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or background; to upholding and reinforcing our values; and to rebuilding your trust.”
This news arrives after several employee strikes and protests clamouring for a change in the working culture at Blizzard Entertainment. Several employees staged a walk-out protest last week. Other Blizzard community members showed their support online, with some guilds hosting virtual sit-ins on World of Warcraft servers.
Activision Blizzard’s second quarter calendar earnings call is scheduled to take place tonight, only shortly after its president has stepped down. We’ll likely hear more of the company’s response as the event develops.
Featured Image: Activision Blizzard