Blizzard President J. Allen Brack Is Stepping Down

J. Allen Brack, Bliz­zard’s pres­i­dent for the past 15 years, is leav­ing the com­pa­ny is the wake of the ongo­ing law­suit over the sex­u­al harass­ment and dis­crim­i­na­tion claims against women. This was offi­cial­ly announced on Bliz­zard’s web­site.

Jen Oneal and Mike Ybar­ra will now be the co-lead­ers of Bliz­zards going for­ward (nei­ther will car­ry title of pres­i­dent or CEO). Oneal for­mer­ly led the team at Vic­ar­i­ous Visions, which recent­ly became part of Bliz­zard. She had been the exec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of devel­op­ment at Bliz­zard since January.

As for Ybar­ra, he joined Bliz­zard in 2019 after an extend­ed career at Xbox and more recent­ly served as exec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent and gen­er­al man­ag­er of plat­form and tech­nol­o­gy for Blizzard.

Jen and Mike have more than three decades of gam­ing indus­try expe­ri­ence between them. Mov­ing for­ward, they will share respon­si­bil­i­ties over game devel­op­ment and com­pa­ny oper­a­tions,” Bliz­zard said. “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. With their many years of indus­try expe­ri­ence and deep com­mit­ment to integri­ty and inclu­siv­i­ty, Jen and Mike will lead Bliz­zard with care, com­pas­sion, and a ded­i­ca­tion to excel­lence. You’ll hear more from Jen and Mike soon.”

Brack said in his own state­ment: “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.”

Brack is leav­ing Bliz­zard to “pur­sue new oppor­tu­ni­ties,” Activi­sion Bliz­zard said in its own state­ment.

A sep­a­rate state­ment giv­en to Gama­su­tra said “It became clear to J. Allen Brack and Activi­sion Bliz­zard lead­er­ship that Bliz­zard Enter­tain­ment needs a new direc­tion and lead­er­ship giv­en the crit­i­cal work ahead in terms of work­place cul­ture, game devel­op­ment, and innovation.”

This lead­er­ship change arrives short­ly after Cal­i­for­ni­a’s Depart­ment of Fair Employ­ment and Hous­ing launched a law­suit against Activi­sion Bliz­zard over claims of equal pay vio­la­tions, sex dis­crim­i­na­tion, and sex­u­al harassment. 

A sep­a­rate law­suit was also filed by a share­hold­er, which alleges that Activi­sion Bliz­zard gave “false and mis­lead­ing” state­ments in regards to the inves­ti­ga­tion. The com­pa­ny failed to give them notice of the two-year inves­ti­ga­tion which is now respon­si­ble for a dip in stock prices. 

Activi­sion Bliz­zard employ­ees walked out last week in protest of the com­pa­ny’s response to the sit­u­a­tion. Hun­dreds of Ubisoft employ­ees wrote an open let­ter in sup­port as they have been in a sim­i­lar scenario.

I am a Platinum lover and an ex- Cod-aholic. I've been playing games since I was 5 years old and I refuse to quit, despite my mother's attempts to get me to. God of War and its successors are my all time favorite games.

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