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Blizzard President J. Allen Brack will step down from the company amid an ongoing harassment lawsuit against the video game publisher, the company announced on Tuesday.
Brack will be replaced by Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra as co-leaders, according to the statement, in the latest turn of ongoing controversy at the company and its parent, Activision Blizzard. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a lawsuit against the company on July 21 for alleged harassment and fostering a “frat boy” culture. After weeks of internal turmoil, including an employee walkout, the Blizzard president will leave a role he’s held since 2018.
One of Brack’s replacements, Oneal, joined Blizzard in January after the Vicarious Visions merger, where she also served as its head, according to a statement. Co-leader Mike Ybarra joined Blizzard in 2019 as executive vice president and general manager of platform and technology, where he had the Battle.net and development services organizations under his wing. Ybarra also attended the Blizzard employee walkout, in protest of the allegations.
“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. “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.”
The announcement also addressed some elements of the employee unrest and the ongoing litigation and claimed Oneal and Ybarra have “deep commitment to integrity and inclusivity.”
“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.
Michael Kloos is a Dutch esports journalist and enthusiast with a particular like of Rocket League and VALORANT. He is also an avid fantasy/sci-fi reader and writer. He spends most of his time trying not to be in the real world.