President of Blizzard Entertainment, J. Allen Brack, has officially left his position at the company. His exit comes weeks after Activision Blizzard was sued by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing for rampant discrimination and sexual harassment. The company allegedly fostered a “frat boy culture” at the $65 billion gaming company.
Activision Blizzard president and COO Daniel Alegre said Brack “is leaving the company to pursue new opportunities,” in a released statement Tuesday. The press release makes no mention of the ongoing scandal or of Brack’s potential role in it.
Starting his career at the company in 2006, Brack took over as president of Blizzard in 2018 after co-founder Michael Morhaime left in 2018. The former president is specifically named in the scathing lawsuit as one of the many company executives who were allegedly aware of the discrimination and harassment against women employees and “failed to take effective remedial measures in response to these complaints.” In one instance, an employee told Brack that women on the Battle.net team were “subjected to disparaging comments, the environment was akin to working in a frat house, and that women who were not ‘huge gamers’ or ‘core gamers’ and not into the party scene were excluded and treated as outsiders.”
In the wake of Brack’s departure, EVP of development Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra, EVP and GM of platform and technology, have been appointed co-leaders of Blizzard.
“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,” Brack said in a statement provided by Blizzard. “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.”
Activision Blizzard CEO, Bobby Kotick, wrote a memo to all employees on July 27, offering a swift apology for the company’s “tone deaf” responses to its employees concerns and complaints, as well as promising effective action. However, on July 29, 1500 employees walked out of the Irvine offices in solidarity with those who were victimized by their coworkers and higher ups, as well as to push for immediate change in company policy. Some of their demands include ending mandatory arbitration clauses in worker contracts, hiring and promoting more diverse candidates, publishing salary data, and allowing a third party to audit Activision’s reporting and human resources procedures.