Activision CEO Daniel Alegre stepping down to pursue newjob

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Activision CEO Daniel Alegre stepping down to pursue newjob
Activision CEO Daniel Alegre will step down from his role at Blizzard Entertainment to pursue new opportunities, according to a letter and memo signed on Monday by J. Allen Brack to employees by the President and Chief Operating Officer of Activision Blizzard. Effective immediately, Brack will be replaced by Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra who have been named as Co-Leaders of Blizzard. Oneal and Ybarra share the responsibility for development and operational accountability for the company, according to the letter. Oneal was previously Blizzard's executive vice president of development, providing support to the company's Diablo and Overwatch franchises, while Ybarra served as Blizzard's executive vice president and general manager of platform and technology, overseeing the company's development services organizations and Battle.net. Oneal was the head of the Vicarious Visions gaming studio and Ybarra was a senior executive in the Xbox division of Microsoft. Both are leaders of great character and integrity and are deeply committed to ensure our workplace is the most inspiring, inviting environment for creative excellence and to upholding our highest game development standards, Alegre said. Avec their many years of industry experience and deep commitment to integrity and inclusivity, I am certain Jen and Mike will lead Blizzard with care, compassion and dedication to excellence. In a statement, Brack expressed his confidence that Oneal and Ybarra will provide the leadership Blizzard needs to accomplish its full potential and will accelerate the speed of change. I anticipate they will do so with passion and enthusiasm and can be trusted to lead with the highest levels of integrity and commitment to the components of our culture that make Blizzard special, he added. Brack's departure is part of an executive shakeup as the company faces a wave of backlash due to its response to a discrimination lawsuit by California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. The DFEH suit accuses the video game giant of ignoring female employees who pay less than their male counterparts, offering them fewer opportunities to advance, and compensating on site complaints from male employees regarding blatant harassment, discrimination and retaliation in the workplace. Activision Blizzard's legal counsel initially called the allegations false and in many cases distorted descriptions of Blizzard's past in a lengthy statement, and outlined significant changes it made to create an inclusive workplace. According to a subsequent email sent by Activision Blizzard's Chief Compliance Officer Frances Townsend, who called the suit truly meritless and irresponsible and said it included factually incorrect, old and out of context stories. The response prompted a petition signed by more than 2,000 former and current Activision Blizzard employees, banning the company's statements as insulting and deceiving, as well as an employee walkout demanding an end to mandatory arbitration clauses in all current and future employee contracts, more inclusive recruiting, interviewing, hiring, and promotion policies, publication of relative compensation, promotion rates, and salary ranges for all employees, and a third-party audit of the company's reporting structure, HR department, and executive The CEO of Activision Blizzard later issued a statement saying that the company response tone deaf, adding there is no place at our company for discrimination, harassment or unequal treatment of any kind. Kotick also encouraged anyone with an experience you believe violates our policies or in any way made you uncomfortable in the workplace to report the issue and said Activision Blizzard would take multiple steps to ensure a safe and inclusive workplace, including hiring an outside law firm to review the company's policies. Your well-being remains my priority and I will spare no company resource to ensure that our company has the most welcoming, comfortable, and safe culture possible. Kotick’s letter concluded I have my unwavering commitment that we will share our company, and we will be the most inclusive, inspiring entertainment company in the world. Shares of the company have tumbled as shares fell following this announcement on Tuesday. Activision Blizzard is set to release its second quarter earnings for fiscal 2021 after the bell.