Today, Blizzard Entertainment has announced a change in leadership. Following the lawsuit filed by California against Activision Blizzard, President J. Allen Brack is stepping down from his position. He will be replaced by two people as co-leaders of the company, Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra. Between the two, they have more than three decades of gaming industry experience and will share responsibilities over game development and company operations.
New leadership at Blizzard.
— Blizzard Entertainment (@Blizzard_Ent) August 3, 2021
Blizzard said that “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. With their many years of industry experience and deep commitment to integrity and inclusivity, Jen and Mike will lead Blizzard with care, compassion, and a dedication to excellence.”
Jen Oneal joined Blizzard as Executive Vice President of Development, providing senior leadership and support to the Diablo and Overwatch franchises. She was the former head of Vicarious Visions before they joined Blizzard Entertainment earlier this year.
During the latest earnings call today, Jen Oneal made her first statement as Co-Leader of Blizzard Entertainment. Talking about the staff morale at the company, Oneal said “First off, there’s nothing more important to me than our people, and I know Mike Ybarra who is partnering with me to lead Blizzard feels exactly the same. Since I joined the studio at the beginning of the year, I’ve had the privilege of working closer with the Diablo and Overwatch teams. I’m seeing great progress on Overwatch 2 and the multiple games in the Diablo universe. I am constantly inspired by the talented teams, their creative vision, their commitment to putting gameplay first. Our people are passionate about our games. They understand our players. And in many cases, they have come from the player community themselves and naturally are driven to serve them. As Bobby and Daniel have mentioned, we are expanding these teams. We’re doubling down on our development recruiting as we expand the scope and vision of our franchises. When we come together, we make some of the best games in the industry, and we’re now seeing that energy applied to our culture, which is equally important. There’s a lot of work ahead of us but the passion and productivity are already here, and when our people feel safe and supported, the rest is going to take care of itself.”
Mike Ybarra was previously at Xbox for many years before joining Blizzard as the Executive Vice President and General Manager of Platform and Technology overseeing the evolution of Battle.net and the development services organization.
“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. 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,” J. Allen Brack said in a statement.
The departure of J. Allen Brack wasn’t the only news surrounding Activision Blizzard today. Jesse Meschunk, an HR Executive is also leaving the company. He was the senior people officer at Blizzard and the unit’s top HR representative. Activision Blizzard is also losing Sponsorships. Activision Blizzard also provided some updates on key game releases.