January 29, 2023

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Blizzard President Departs as Game Maker Faces Labor Lawsuit

Blizzard President J. Allen Brack is leaving the company amid a cultural reckoning at parent Activision Blizzard Inc.over a California lawsuit alleging sexual discrimination and harassment.

Brack’s departure was disclosed in an email to staff Tuesday, which was reviewed by Bloomberg. Brack will be replaced by Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra, the new “coleaders” of Blizzard. The shares were down 2.2% in premarket trading following the news.null

Blizzard, maker of the Warcraft and Diablo games, was the main subject of accusations contained in the lawsuit from a California state agency. Many of the allegations took place before Brack was named president in 2018.

Still, Brack came under intense scrutiny after the complaint was filed over his leadership style. A video of Brack at a company event in 2010 resurfaced on social media, showing him on a panel with colleagues laughing off a question from a woman about the sexualization of female characters in the World of Warcraft game.

Oneal ran an Activision game studio called Vicarious Visions before joining Blizzard as an executive in January. Ybarra worked at Microsoft Corp for nearly 20 years and managed Xbox online services before going to Blizzard in 2019.

In a statements, Brack said his successors “can be trusted to lead with the highest levels of integrity and commitment to the components of our culture that make Blizzard so special.”

Source: Bloomberg