Blizzard President J. Allen Brack Steps Down Following Harassment Lawsuit & Employee Walkout

Blizzard Entertainment

Blizzard Entertainment president J. Allen Brack has stepped down from his post, nearly two weeks after an investigation by the  California Department of Fair Employment and Housing exposed numerous allegations of harassment and a “frat boy” work place culture within Activision Blizzard.

The World of Warcraft and Overwatch publisher announced the executive reshuffling on Tuesday via a statement that also states that Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra will co-lead upon Brack’s departure.

“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,” the statement read.

A letter from Activision president and COO Daniel Alegre expanded on the Blizzard letter, detailing more information about Brack’s decision to step down.

“With Jen and Mike assuming their new roles, J. Allen Brack is leaving the company new opportunities,” the Activision post read.

Brack was one of two Blizzard workers specifically cited in the California Lawsuit, which claimed that “numerous complaints about unlawful harassment, discrimination, and retaliation were made to Defendants’ human resources personnel and executives, including to” the now former Blizzard exec.

Less than a week before Brack’s departure, Activision Blizzard employees staged a walkout to protest the toxic working conditions alleged in the lawsuit. The protest took place at the company’s main campus in Irvine, CA. Leading up to the protest, employees penned an open letter criticizing the company’s response to the lawsuit. Employees also compiled a list of demands calling for more transparency on multiple levels.

#ActiBlizzWalkout, the hashtag representing the protest on social media, held the No. 1 trending spot on Twitter on the day of the walkout. Beyond employees, members of the gaming community including consumers held off on playing any Activision Blizzard titles to show solidarity for the employees seeking change.

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