Blizzard: President J. Allen Brack announces resignation

Blizzard: President J. Allen Brack announces resignation


Change in leadership at Blizzard Entertainment. President J. Allen Brack has announced his resignation effective immediately. A few days ago, Activision Blizzard was sued by the state of California for numerous offenses - including harassment, discrimination, abuse and more. The scandals caused outrage among fans and employees.

J. Allen Brack is leaving the company to pursue "new opportunities", according to an internal mail sent to Blizzard Entertainment employees on Tuesday. The successors have already been presented in an official statement. Effective immediately, Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra will co-lead the company. Blizzard has once again changed the designation for the highest position. Until 2018, Mike Morhaime was the CEO of Blizzard. J. Allen Brack then took over the development studio as president. Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra will now be referred to as co-leaders. For Bloomberg editor Jason Schreier it is clear that Activision CEO Bobby Kotick is now in control of Blizzard too.

Jen Oneal will only be "Executive Vice President of Development" in January 2021 joined Blizzard. Mike Ybarra was a long-time executive at Xbox before joining the company in 2019 to work as Executive Vice President and General Manager of Platform and Technology at Blizzard. The new leaders plan to comment shortly on their promotion. J. Allen Brack also made a statement in the announcement.

"I believe Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra will bring the leadership skills Blizzard needs to realize their full potential and accelerate change. I am sure they will do so with passion and enthusiasm and you can entrust them to take the lead with the highest degree of seriousness and commitment to the things of our culture that make Blizzard so special. "

Source: Blizzard

Blizzard president J. Allen Brack steps down amid lawsuit

Two weeks after a lawsuit was filed against publishing giant Activision Blizzard, one of the company’s senior leaders is taking their leave. J. Allen Brack, who has been Blizzard’s president since October 2018, is leaving his position. In his place, the company is installing two “co-leaders,” Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra.

Brack first joined Blizzard in January of 2006 according to his page on Activision Blizzard’s website. Before becoming president, Brack led World of Warcraft as the game’s executive producer and was the main driving force behind WoW Classic. In the weeks following the State of California’s lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, development on World of Warcraft has paused. Blizzard employees also recently staged a walk-out on the company, demanding that changes be made at a foundational level.

Replacing Brack at the helm of Blizzard are Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra. Oneal was previously the developer’s executive vice president of development. Before heading to Blizzard, she led Vicarious Visions, which was acquired by Blizzard this past January. Similarly, Ybarra is an industry veteran, serving as Microsoft’s corporate vice president for Xbox Live and Xbox Game Pass before joining Blizzard in 2019.

While the statement made by Blizzard announcing Brack’s leave doesn’t directly mention the lawsuit filed against the company, it does allude to it. “Both leaders are deeply committed to all of our employees; to the work ahead o 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,” reads the company’s statement. “With their many years of industry experience and a deep commitment to integrity and inclusivity, Jen and Mike will lead Blizzard with care, compassion, and a dedication to excellence.”

The lawsuit filed against Activision Blizzard alleges that the company developed a “frat boy culture” in which sexual harassment and discrimination were not only rampant but went unpunished. According to the lawsuit, “Numerous complaints about unlawful harassment, discrimination, and retaliation were made to Defendants’ human resources personnel and executives, including to Blizzard Entertainment’s President J. Allen Brack. But, Defendants failed to take effective remedial measures in response to these complaints.”

Editors' Recommendations