Blizzard president J. Allen Brack leaves amid sexism allegations

By Olivia Richman

|

Aug 3, 2021

Reading time: 2 min

As employees continue to come out with more stories of abuse, harassment, sexism, and discrimination, Blizzard president J. Allen Brack is stepping down from the game development company. 

Blizzard announced that Brack was leaving today. His spot will be taken over by Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra, who are going to co-lead the company for the time being. Oneal became Blizzard’s executive vice president of development in January 2021, leading the Diablo and Overwatch franchises. Ybarra joined Blizzard in 2019 as the executive vice president and general manager of platform and technology, “overseeing the evolution of Battle.net.” 

Moving forward, Blizzard explained that both Oneal and Ybarra will share the responsibilities of game development and company operations. 

“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,” Blizzard wrote in the official announcement

President J. Allen Brack leaves Blizzard after sexism allegations surface

Blizzard employee strike

Brack shared his own message after leaving Blizzard, stating that he is “confident” that Oneal and Ybarra will provide the leadership Blizzard needs to “accelerate the pace of change.” 

In a recently leaked email to the company from late July, Brack explained that he dislikes “bro culture” and found the recent allegations “extremely troubling.” From the office to BlizzCon, Brack wrote that everyone should feel safe while working for Blizzard. He concluded that all allegations will be internally investigated as well as externally if it proved necessary. 

But Brack’s past actions overshadowed that email. Brack was one of the parties listed in California’s suit against Blizzard, which claimed that the company president didn’t take effective measures when female employees brought up their claims. This includes the situation with Alex Afrasiabi. After being accused of harassment by multiple female employees, Brack “counseled” the employee multiple times as the behavior continued, including instances of groping and harassment. 

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