Just three months since he took his position as “co-leader” with Mike Ybarra, Jen Oneal, the first woman to head Blizzard just announced that he will resign from his position, temporarily moving to a new position to finish leaving the company at the end of the year.
As we can read in the open letter published by Oneal itself on the news wall of the official website, the directive summarizes: «I have made the decision to step away from the co-leadership of Blizzard Entertainment and will move into a new position before leaving ABK at the end of the year. Effective immediately, Mike Ybarra will direct Blizzard. I’m not doing it because I’m not hopeful of Blizzard, quite the opposite: I’m inspired by the passion of everyone here, working with all their hearts for meaningful and lasting change. This energy has inspired me to step up and explore how I can do more to bring games and diversity together and hopefully make a broader impact in the industry that benefits Blizzard (and other studios) as well. While I’m not entirely sure what form that will take, I’m excited to embark on a new journey to find out.«.
«I wanted to say this personally to the Blizzard community because I want you to know that I have a strong belief in Mike and the rest of the Blizzard leadership, both in terms of Blizzard culture and Blizzard games. Blizzard’s best days are yet to come. I really believe it. I also hope this letter helps you think about what you can do to make everyone around you, regardless of gender, race or identity, feel welcome, comfortable and free to be themselves.»Closed this letter.
Currently, Blizzard is facing various lawsuits and investigations on the numerous reports of sexual harassment and systemic gender discrimination within the study, with accusations ranging from senior positions to virtually the entire company. After months of pressure from employees, shareholders and government agencies, the company ended its policy of forced arbitration in cases of sexual harassment and discrimination and implemented a zero tolerance approach to harassment in the study.
Although at the moment this scandal is far from over, continuing the original lawsuit filed with the California court is still ongoing.
At the moment, in addition to the departure of numerous executives, these scandals have already caused the delay of two of the company’s major installments, Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4. So it remains to be seen how the company will act now after Oneal’s departure, and how it could affect the ongoing legal proceedings.