Activision’s Blizzard Entertainment president is stepping down after being subject to a discrimination lawsuit in California and backlash from employees about their work environment.
Activision Blizzard Inc. was sued by the state last month, citing a “fratboy” culture that had become “a breeding ground of harassment and discrimination against females.”
According to the lawsuit, female employees are subject to constant sexual harassment. They are also less likely than their male counterparts to be named in leadership positions and receive lower salary, incentive pay, and total compensation.
Bobby Kotick, Activision Blizzard CEO, wrote to employees following the filing of the lawsuit. He stated that the company was taking swift action to be the compassionate and caring company you worked for and to provide a safe environment.
He wrote, “There is no place at our Company for discrimination or harassment of any kind.”
Activision Blizzard President Daniel Alegre sent a letter to employees on Tuesday announcing that J. Allen Brack would be leaving the company. According to the company’s website, Brack joined Blizzard as a leader in January 2006. He was named president in October 2018.
According to the complaint, Brack was informed that employees were leaving Santa Monica, California’s company due to sexual harassment and sexism as early as 2019. The complaint also claimed that employees complained to the human resources department about unfair pay and assignments.
According to the complaint, despite numerous complaints made to human resources personnel and executive including Brack’s, no effective remedial actions were taken.
Brack is also accused of giving verbal counseling to Alex Afrasiabi (former senior creative director for “World of Warcraft”), which was deemed a “slap on his wrist.” The state claims that Afrasiabi engaged in blatant sexual harassment, and that the company refused treatment because of his position.
Jen Oneal, Mike Ybarra, and Mike Ybarra were named as co-leaders at Blizzard. They share responsibility for development and operations, the company announced Tuesday.