Head of Blizzard Entertainment to step down in wake of sexual harassment scandal

Blizzard former head J. Allen Brack

Head of Blizzard Entertainment J. Allen Brack is stepping down from his role from the studio with immediate effect.

Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra will now co-lead Blizzard. Oneal, the former head of Vicarious Visions, has been executive vice president of development at Blizzard since January; Ybarra, previously of Xbox, has been executive vice president and general manager of platform and technology since 2019.

A public statement from Blizzard says: “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.”

Brack commented: “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.”

Activision Blizzard is facing a lawsuit from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing for its “frat boy” culture of sexual harassment.

Since the lawsuit was reported, multiple stories of abuse and harassment have come to light.

That includes a woman who was mocked at a 2010 Blizzcon panel at which she asked if there was scope for women in World of Warcraft to not be sexualised.

Brack is one of six straight white cis men on the panel, though unlike Greg Street (also on the panel) he’s yet to publicly apologise.

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