Blizzard president stepped down because workers demanded systemic change

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’s Blizzard King Workers’ Union wrote on Twitter, which claimed to be “driven by existing actions”. Regarding Blizzard’s employees, the organization is 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 the studio at Vicarious Visions 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. Ybbara served as executive vice president at Blizzard for only about two years. 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 “I expect them to do so 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. The DFEH complaint disclosed distressing details about the company’s so-called “fraternal boy” culture, alleging inequalities ranging from pay gaps to tolerance for sexual misconduct. Braque is one of the few specific figures mentioned in the lawsuit. DFEH stated that he received “a large number of complaints about unlawful harassment, discrimination, and retaliation,” including his predecessor World of Warcraft Senior creative director Alex Afrasiabi.Allegedly, Afrasiabi had sexually harassed female employees and held a suite at Blizzard Carnival around 2013, nicknamed Cosby SuiteA 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, Brack recalled that when Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, offered him the job, “The first thing I mentioned was a respected saint of the Brack family-Gloria Steinem.” Braque 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 spokesperson’s statement stated 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 employees of Activision, Blizzard, and King (all under Activision Blizzard) began to coordinate to show solidarity with these victims. More than 3,000 current employees signed a letter condemning the leader’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. (Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick subsequently apologized for “tone teaf”’s initial response, Say He will evaluate leaders, review hiring practices, and investigate claims. )

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