Activision Blizzard has been making headlines for most of this month, facing a lawsuit from the California DFEH over an alleged “frat boy” workplace culture that’s led to unchecked sexual harassment and discrimination. Blizzard upper management was slammed for its “tone deaf”-ness by employees and activists, who called for greater action to be taken at a company-wide level. Now, both company president J. Allen Brack and head of Human Resources Jesse Meschuk have left the company.
Brack will be replaced by a Jennifer Oneal and Mike Ybarra, games industry veterans who will be co-leading Blizzard Entertainment from now on.
“Both leaders are deeply committed to all of our employees,” reads the announcement. “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.”
The announcement ends with a message from Brack showing his support for his pair of replacements: “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. 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.”
The company’s top HR rep, Jesse Meschuk, left the company this week too, reports Bloomberg. The company’s HR department was singled out in the California suit for being complicit concerning the over-arching “frat boy” culture. Specifically, employees were allegedly discouraged from approaching HR over issues of sexual harassment, as those in HR positions are apparently known to be close to harassers.
Following the suit, a large group of employees organised a “Walkout for Equality” that took place outside of the company’s main campus last Wednesday. Along with the walkout came a list of demands from employees, one of which specifically called for the hiring of a third party to audit Blizzard’s own HR department.