Allen Brack to step down from ActivisionBlacks

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Allen Brack to step down from ActivisionBlacks
D. Allen Brack will step down from his role at the video game giant to pursue new opportunities, according to a letter from Activision Blizzard president and chief operating officer J. Allen Brack to employees on Monday. Since immediately Brack will be replaced by Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra, who have been appointed as co-leaders of Blizzard. Oneal and Ybarra will share responsibility for development and operational accountability for the company, according to the letter. Oneal previously served as Blizzard's executive vice president of development, providing support to the company's Diablo and Overwatch franchises, while Ybarra had previously served as Blizzard's executive vice president and general manager of platform and technology, overseeing the company's development services organizations and Battle.net. Before Blizzard, Oneal was the head of gaming studio Vicarious Visions and Ybarra was a senior executive in Microsoft's Xbox division. Both are leaders of great character and integrity and are deeply committed to ensuring our workplace is the most inspiring, welcoming environment for creative excellence and to upholding our highest standards in game development, Alegre said. Together with their many years of industry experience and deep commitment to integrity and inclusivity, I am sure 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 realize its full potential and will accelerate the pace of change. I anticipate they will do so with passion and passion 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, he added. The departure of Josh Brack is part of a managerial shake up as the company faces a wave of backlash due to its response to a discrimination lawsuit from California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing. The DFEH suit accuses the video game giant of providing its male employees with less opportunities to advance, offering them with fewer opportunities to advance and issuing complaints from female employees regarding blatant harassment, discrimination and retaliation in the workplace. Activision Blizzard's legal counsel outlined the claims in a lengthy statement calling distorted, and in many cases false, descriptions of Blizzard's past and initial changes it made to create an inclusive workplace. According to a subsequent email sent out by Activision Blizzard's Chief Compliance Officer Frances Townsend, who called the lawsuit truly meritless and irresponsible and said it included factual incorrect, old, and out of context stories. The response prompted a petition signed by more than 2,000 current and former employees, blasting the company's statements as abhorrent and insulting, as well as an employee walkout demanding an end to mandatory arbitration clauses in all current and future employee contracts, more effective recruiting, interviewing, hiring, promotions, promotions 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 staff. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick issued a statement later calling the company response tone deaf, adding that there is no place at our company for discrimination, harassment, or unequal treatment of any kind. Kotick also encouraged anyone with experience that you believe violates our policies or 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, said Kotick's letter. You have my unwavering commitment that we will improve our company together and we will be the best entertainment company in the world. Shares of the company tumbled on Tuesday during the trading session following the announcement. Activision Blizzard is scheduled to release fiscal 2021 earnings after the bell to the second quarter.