The shakeup at Activision Blizzard Inc. continues with the sudden departure of Blizzard Entertainment President J. Allen Brack.
The move comes amid the fallout from a lawsuit filed against the company by California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) alleging violation of civil rights and the equal pay act followed by an employee walkout and a continued public war of words between executives and staffers. Following an open letter to staff sent to the media last week by CEO Bobby Kotick, another letter has arrived, this time from Activision Blizzard President and Chief Operating Officer Daniel Alegre. The letter details the departure of Brack and other staffing changes.
The letter can be read in its entirety below:
August 3, 2021
I am pleased to announce that, effective immediately, Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra have been appointed co-leaders of Blizzard. Jen and Mike will share responsibility for development and operational accountability for the company. Both are leaders of great character and integrity and are deeply committed to ensuring our workplace is the most inspired, welcoming environment for creative excellence and to upholding our highest game development standards.
Many of us already know Mike and Jen and have experienced their leadership, their empathy and their unwavering sense of accountability:
Jen is an 18-year company veteran and the former head of Vicarious Visions studio. As Executive Vice President of Development at Blizzard, she has been providing senior development leadership and support to the Diablo and Overwatch franchises.
Mike has been in the technology and gaming industries for over 20 years, including 7 years as a senior executive at Microsoft’s XBOX division. Most recently Mike was Executive Vice President & General Manager of Platform and Technology at Blizzard overseeing Battle.net and our Development Services organizations.
With their many years of industry experience and deep commitment to integrity and inclusivity, I am certain Jen and Mike will lead Blizzard with care, compassion and a dedication to excellence.
With Jen and Mike assuming their new roles, J. Allen Brack is leaving the company to pursue new opportunities.
As the company continues to restructure within, the lawsuit is set to play out in a California courtroom in the months ahead. The company is expected to release Q2 earnings after the bell today.