Blizzard president J. Allen Brack quits after a 16-year run amidst sexual harassment lawsuit

Image via Activision Blizzard
Image via Activision Blizzard
Rishabh B.

Earlier today, American video-game developer and publisher Blizzard Entertainment announced that company president J. Allen Brack is stepping down after 16 years in the job.

J. Allen Brack is leaving his position less than two weeks after the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing made allegations of harassment and discrimination within the company.

Inappropriate behavior against female coworkers, enormous pay discrepancies between men and women, and a “frat-boy” culture were some of the noted allegations made against Blizzard Entertainment.

The lawsuit accused Blizzard Entertainment of failing to act on complaints related to harassment and discrimination, with some cases of male retaliation also mentioned in the list of complaints. The company announced executive VPs Mike Ybarra and Jen Oneal as the new joint-leaders.

Blizzard Entertainment’s president J. Allen Brack quits after 16 years following sexual harassment lawsuit

The suit was filed on July 20th and is said to be the culmination of a 2-year investigation that took place with respect to innumerable incidents. Apart from the above allegations, incidents where women of color and pregnant women were treated in a “discriminatory manner” were also evinced.

For more information about the lawsuit, the following link can be seen. The lawsuit claims that Blizzard entertainment has been in violation of the California state’s civil rights and equal pay laws.

Regardless, J. Allen Brack has stepped down as the company’s president, although the official statement did not suggest that the move had anything to do with the pending lawsuit. Brack himself made the following 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.”

Both Mike Ybarra and Jen Oneal only recently joined the company. Ybarra was a long-time Xbox One executive and joined Blizzard Entertainment in 2019. Jen Oneal, on the other hand, served as the head of "Vicarious Visions" before joining Blizzard Entertainment towards the beginning of 2021.

Activision Blizzard has seen a decrease in stock value recently, with an overall 16% loss reported in the last month. Thousands of employees recently signed a petition asking the company to take action in response to the lawsuit allegations, with the move seemingly being the first in that direction.

Edited by Sijo Samuel Paul


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