The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing sued Blizzard last July, saying it “created a culture of ‘constant sexual harassment’ and gender discrimination.” The revelations that followed the rest of the year only served to corroborate those claims, and even as accusations of retaliation pour in, a new batch of leaders 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 the culture. It looks like two of the spots have been filled, as Activision Blizzard hired Kristen Hines as its new chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer last month, and today Blizzard Entertainment announced Jessica Martinez as its first vice president, head of culture.
“When you create a people-centric environment where teams feel safe and valued and work together towards a common goal, everyone thrives: the employees, the players and the company.” pic.twitter.com/qDonVr8nJz
— Blizzard Entertainment (@Blizzard_Ent) May 5, 2022
According to Blizzard, her responsibilities include “growing and implementing our culture strategy, ensuring alignment across all teams and functions, and innovating learning and talent development programs.” The announcement says she leads the learning and development team, as she works with “communications, events and each of the franchise and functional leaders.” Martinez is credited with 14 years of “leading strategy, communications, operations and employee experience” at Disney.
In addition to these roles, Ybarra’s post noted bringing in “a new Human Resources organizational leader who will build trust, strengthen our teams, and help foster a safe, positive work environment for all.” He also said executive pay would depend on their success in creating a safe, inclusive and creative work environment at Blizzard.