Blizzard president steps down amid sexual harassment lawsuit

J. Allen Brack stepped down from his role as president of Activision Blizzard on Tuesday, two weeks after a lawsuit was filed alleging a culture of sexual harassment inside the video game giant.

In the esports realm, the company’s subsidiary Blizzard Entertainment founded and produces the Overwatch League.

Activision Blizzard promoted executive vice presidents Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra, saying they will “co-lead Blizzard moving forward” in a statement Tuesday.

“I am confident that Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra will provide the leadership Blizzard needs to realize its full potential and will accelerate the pace of change,” Brack said in a statement. “I anticipate they will do so with passion and enthusiasm and that they can be trusted to lead with the highest levels of integrity and commitment to the components of our culture that make Blizzard so special.”

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s suit against Activision Blizzard, which mentions Brack by name, alleges that the company allowed a “frat boy” culture in its workplace. In addition, a letter to upper management reportedly signed by almost 1,000 current and former employees denounced the company’s culture and said “our values as employees are not accurately reflected in the words and actions of our leadership.”

The lawsuit alleges that male employees at the company engaged in events called “cube crawls,” in which they would get drunk and harass female employees. One female employee allegedly died by suicide due to pressure from a superior, whom she had been sexually involved with, during a business trip.

--Field Level Media