Activision Blizzard (ATVI ) - Get Activision Blizzard, Inc. Reportpresident J. Allen stepped down as the president of Blizzard Entertainment on Aug. 3. The company announced that Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra will be co-leading Blizzard Entertainment under Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick.
“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," said Brack.
The executive shift comes as Activision Blizzard faces a sexual harassment lawsuit from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) and an employee walkout.
The lawsuit, which was filed on July 20, alleges equal pay violation sex discrimination and sexual harassment at Activision Blizzard. The lawsuit also claimed that the company’s executives failed to take reasonable steps to prevent unlawful conduct.
“All employers should ensure that their employees are being paid equally and take all steps to prevent discrimination, harassment, and retaliation,” said DFEH Director Kevin Kish. “This is especially important for employers in male-dominated industries, such as technology and gaming.”
Chief Compliance Officer Frances Townsend reportedly slammed the allegations at first, calling it a “distorted and untrue picture of our company” in an internal letter that was obtained by the Washington Post. She also called the lawsuit, “factually incorrect, old and out of context.”
However, her statement received criticism from its employees forcing the company to say that the initial response was “tone-deaf.”
“We are taking swift action to be the compassionate, caring company you came to work for and to ensure a safe environment. There is no place anywhere at our company for discrimination, harassment, or unequal treatment of any kind," said Kotick, in a letter to his employees, on July 27. "We will do everything possible to make sure that together, we improve and build the kind of inclusive workplace that is essential to foster creativity and inspiration."
On July 28, hundreds of Blizzard employees walked out of their office to protest against the company. Blizzard co-founder and former CEO Mike Morhaime also showed his solidarity with the walk-out.