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New Leadership at Blizzard

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J. Allen Brack is stepping down as the leader of the studio, and Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra will co-lead Blizzard going forward.

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To all members of the Blizzard Community, 

We want to let you know about an important leadership change at Blizzard Entertainment. 

Starting today, J. Allen Brack will be stepping down as the leader of the studio, and Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra will co-lead Blizzard moving forward. 

Jen joined Blizzard in January as executive vice president of development, where she’s been providing senior development leadership and support to the Diablo and Overwatch franchises. Jen is the former head of Vicarious Visions (which is now part of Blizzard Entertainment).

After many years at XBOX, Mike joined the company in 2019 as the executive vice president and general manager of platform and technology, where he’s been overseeing the evolution of Battle.net and our development services organization.

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. 

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. 

The following is a message from J. Allen Brack:

“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.”

Finally, thank you all for being a part of the Blizzard community, and for your passion and determination for safety and equality for all.

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Reminded me of Joffrey/Tyrion dialogue for some reason 

Joffrey Baratheon: Everyone is mine to torment. You’d do well to remember that, you little monster.

Tyrion Lannister: Oh, I’m a monster. Perhaps you should speak to me more softly, then. Monsters are dangerous and just now kings are dying like flies.

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This is most definetly because of the lawsuit, though at this point the lawsuit itself is extremely suspicious.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Dejo93 said:

This is most definetly because of the lawsuit, though at this point the lawsuit itself is extremely suspicious.

 

 

I wouldn't be shocked that it was all like this to get the current leadership out and new in....smells like a coup to me.

Its how people who tend to not have the skills to get there on merit alone, use public opinion to pressure them to step down, making them look bad, i mean how much of the whole thing is actually true, we don't know, we have just been told it happened...sounds more and more like a set up for a coup.

That is how it looks to me, lets just hope they know what they are doing and just not wanting the power to make things more woke.

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2 minutes ago, Lithari said:

I wouldn't be shocked that it was all like this to get the current leadership out and new in....smells like a coup to me.

Its how people who tend to not have the skills to get there on merit alone, use public opinion to pressure them to step down, making them look bad, i mean how much of the whole thing is actually true, we don't know, we have just been told it happened...sounds more and more like a set up for a coup.

That is how it looks to me, lets just hope they know what they are doing and just not wanting the power to make things more woke.

I doubt that. The Diversity Mafia isn't know for vusiness conpetence

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He's only stepping down but remains in company? So just a change of positions to avoid controversy, it seems others are safe, at least for now.

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53 minutes ago, Arcling said:

He's only stepping down but remains in company? So just a change of positions to avoid controversy, it seems others are safe, at least for now.

Activision Blizzard confirmed he's leaving the company to "pursue other business opportunities". Of course he's going to get a very nice payout for stepping down and nothing has really changed at Blizzard even with Activision putting two diverse figureheads in charge to attempt to stop their stocks from bleeding.

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7 minutes ago, Keioshin said:

Activision Blizzard confirmed he's leaving the company to "pursue other business opportunities". Of course he's going to get a very nice payout for stepping down and nothing has really changed at Blizzard even with Activision putting two diverse figureheads in charge to attempt to stop their stocks from bleeding.

Yeah, if that's the case, then he's likely leaving with a nice amount of money. Still he's just one person. Some of those involved in that "culture" are still in the company. Like Jesse McCree for example, who's on the D4 team. We will have to wait and see if anything happens with those accused, although it is just a civil lawsuit, no idea if it would escalate further into some new criminal lawsuits.

Looks like these two might be just temporary leadership until some restructuring is done or someone else is appointed. Pretty recent hires too. Unlike Brack, they are only named as co-leaders, not president(s) of the company.

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This feels like a sacrificial lamb...or maybe sacrificial meatshield.

 

Kotick and Townsend are the monsters that need to be taken down, this feels like a measure to say "all the named parties in the lawsuit are gone, we're good now!"

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16 hours ago, Migol said:

This feels like a sacrificial lamb...or maybe sacrificial meatshield.

 

Kotick and Townsend are the monsters that need to be taken down, this feels like a measure to say "all the named parties in the lawsuit are gone, we're good now!"

this happened under Morhaime. I dislike Kotick just as much as everyone else, but this isn't the case here

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2 hours ago, Dejo93 said:

this happened under Morhaime. I dislike Kotick just as much as everyone else, but this isn't the case here

Kotick's been there since 2017 as chief executive officer iirc?    He's in a higher position than Morhaime was as I understand it.    He's also the one that saw all the layoffs during their peak profitability and the hiring of lower wage people to replace the "over trimmed" aspects, as just one example of scumminess.

And you can hardly say Townsend has nothing to do with the current mess.

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1 hour ago, Migol said:

Kotick's been there since 2017 as chief executive officer iirc?    He's in a higher position than Morhaime was as I understand it.    He's also the one that saw all the layoffs during their peak profitability and the hiring of lower wage people to replace the "over trimmed" aspects, as just one example of scumminess.

And you can hardly say Townsend has nothing to do with the current mess.

She doesn't (although this doesn't make her a good person, her history with Bush administration for example), harassment was happening there for over a decade, even when they were still under Vivendi Games. Townsend only joined company in march this year. Her response was typical corporate speech, but this is all.

Morhaime isn't innocent, was mentioned in a lawsuit. How much he knew, we don't know exactly, but he had to be aware of at least some cases, as these were brought directly to him. As much as I hate Kotick, he wasn't involved in any harassment happening there. "Old guard" weren't just those great guys that people thought them to be.

Edited by Arcling

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3 hours ago, Arcling said:

She doesn't (although this doesn't make her a good person, her history with Bush administration for example), harassment was happening there for over a decade, even when they were still under Vivendi Games. Townsend only joined company in march this year. Her response was typical corporate speech, but this is all.

...You think the below quote is "typical corporate speech" but doesn't make her part of the problem?     It's exactly what set off a lot of this fire.    Bolded a couple key bits.

Quote

 

As the Executive Sponsor of the ABK Employee Women’s Network and our Chief Compliance Officer, I wanted to reach out to you. I know this has been difficult for many of us. A recently filed lawsuit presented a distorted and untrue picture of our company, including factually inaccurate, old, and out of context stories - some from more than a decade ago.

The Activision companies of today, the Activision companies that I know, are great companies with good values. When I joined the Executive Leadership Team, I was certain that I was joining a company where I would be valued, treated with respect, and provided opportunities equal to those afforded to the men of the company. For me, this has been true during my time. As a leader, I am committed to making sure that the experience I have is the same as the rest of the organization. We have a leadership team that is committed to these principles in every way.

We work at a company that truly values equality and fairness. Rest assured that leadership is committed to continuing to maintain a safe, fair, and inclusive workplace. We cannot let egregious actions of others, and a truly meritless and irresponsible lawsuit, damage our culture of respect and equal opportunity for all employees. We aspire in our company to do great things: in our games, in our impact on society, and in our work environment. We continue to hold firm to our principles and invest, as we have in the past, the sources to ensure quality opportunities for all employees. We remain committed as a leadership team to doing what is right.”

 

 
Edited by Migol

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2 hours ago, Migol said:

...You think the below quote is "typical corporate speech" but doesn't make her part of the problem?     It's exactly what set off a lot of this fire.    Bolded a couple key bits.

 

It looked like you were implying that she was somehow involved in a long ongoing harassment, even though she has only recently joined the company. Her response to lawsuit is one of the key things that escalated the protest, this is true. Doesn't change the fact that this was a typical corporate speech. She tried to defend the company, which is what people in her position are supposed to do, even if it means lying.

Edited by Arcling

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17 hours ago, Arcling said:

It looked like you were implying that she was somehow involved in a long ongoing harassment, even though she has only recently joined the company. Her response to lawsuit is one of the key things that escalated the protest, this is true. Doesn't change the fact that this was a typical corporate speech. She tried to defend the company, which is what people in her position are supposed to do, even if it means lying.

While some very corrupt people might think lying is part of a job like this...defending a company by trying to deny sexual assault/harrassment/etc happened or trying to play it down as old or out of context or such makes her a BIG part of the problem.     She is one of the ones the employee groups wants gone, and with good reason.    It's very obvious that her position "As the Executive Sponsor of the ABK Employee Women’s Network and our Chief Compliance Officer" should be taken away.

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2 hours ago, Migol said:

While some very corrupt people might think lying is part of a job like this...defending a company by trying to deny sexual assault/harrassment/etc happened or trying to play it down as old or out of context or such makes her a BIG part of the problem.     She is one of the ones the employee groups wants gone, and with good reason.    It's very obvious that her position "As the Executive Sponsor of the ABK Employee Women’s Network and our Chief Compliance Officer" should be taken away.

Oh, I don't disagree about that! She should have been fired.

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I'm not impressed with the coming "uber woke" feminist take over of bliz.  Sexual harassment is often an exaggerated and misused attack to take down anyone with "power" as an anti authority move or just because they can.

If the game starts to become uber PC and namby woke I will quit.  Not going to put up with that total and utter BS

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