Blizzard was sued by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing in July, alleging that it “established a culture of ‘continuous sexual harassment’ and gender-based discrimination.” The disclosures that followed during the remainder of the year only helped to bolster those claims, and even as charges of retribution continue to pour in, a new generation of executives insists on making changes.
Blizzard president Mike Ybarra wrote in January about “the work we are undertaking to reestablish your trust at Blizzard,” describing many full-time leadership positions committed to improving the culture. Activision Blizzard recently named Kristen Hines as its new chief diversity, equality, and inclusion officer, while Blizzard Entertainment today introduced Jessica Martinez as its first vice president, head of culture.
“Growing and implementing our cultural plan, maintaining alignment across all teams and departments, and overhauling learning and talent development initiatives,” according to Blizzard. She will manage the learning and development team, as well as engage with “communications, events, and each of the franchise and functional leaders,” according to the statement. Martinez has 14 years of experience at Disney “managing strategy, communications, operations, and employee experience.”
Ybarra also referenced hiring “a new organizational leader for Human Resources who will establish trust, empower our teams, and assist cultivate a secure, happy work environment for everyone” in his article. He also stated that executives’ pay will be determined on their ability to “create a secure, inclusive, and creative work environment at Blizzard.”