The California Department of Equitable Employment and Housing sued Blizzard last July, saying it had “created a culture of ‘persistent sexual harassment’ and gender discrimination.” The revelations that followed throughout the rest of the year only served to confirm those claims, and even as allegations of retaliation continue to surface, a new group of executives say they are determined to make changes.
In January, Blizzard President Mike Ybarra wrote about “the work we’re doing to rebuild your trust in Blizzard,” and included descriptions of several full-time leadership roles dedicated to changing culture. It appears two of the positions have been filled, as last month Activision Blizzard named Kristen Hines as its new chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer, and Blizzard Entertainment today announced Jessica Martinez as its first vice president, head of culture.
“When you create an environment where people come first, where teams feel safe and valued, and work together towards a common goal, everyone thrives – the staff, the players and the company.” pic.twitter.com/qDonVr8nJz
— Blizzard Entertainment (@Blizzard_Ent) May 5, 2022
According to Blizzard, her responsibilities include “growth and execution of our culture strategy, ensuring alignment across all teams and functions, and overhauling learning and talent development programs.” The announcement says she leads the learning and development team while working with “communications, events and each of the franchise and functional leaders.” Martinez is credited with 14 years of “leading strategy, communications, operations and people experience” at Disney.
Beyond those positions, Ybarra’s contribution noted the hiring of “a new organizational leader for Human Resources who will build trust, strengthen our teams and help create a safe, positive work environment for all.” He also said that executive compensation is based on their success in “creating a safe, inclusive, and creative work environment at Blizzard.”
https://www.theverge.com/tech/2022/5/5/23059254/blizzard-first-culture-vp-hired-to-fix-harassment-discrimination-retaliation Blizzard hires its first vice president of culture to help improve its culture