Blizzard Co-Leader Jen Oneal Steps Down After Just 3 Months

AbraxasNovember 3, 2021

Blizzard Entertainment co-leader Jen Oneal has announced that she is stepping down from her position and ultimately depart the company at the end of the year. Oneal had been on the job for just three months as she and Mike Ybarra stepped up to co-lead Blizzard Entertainment in the wake of former Blizzard Entertainment president J. Allen Brack leaving the company following California’s lawsuit against Activision Blizzard regarding the company’s treatment of women over allegations of unequal pay, sexual harassment, and retaliation against employees.

“I want you to hear from me personally that I have made the decision to step away from co-leading Blizzard Entertainment and will transition to a new position before departing ABK at the end of the year,” Oneal’s statement reads in part. “Effective immediately, Mike Ybarra will lead Blizzard. I am doing this not because I am without hope for Blizzard, quite the opposite–I’m inspired by the passion of everyone here, working towards meaningful, lasting change with their whole hearts. This energy has inspired me to step out and explore how I can do more to have games and diversity intersect, and hopefully make a broader industry impact that will benefit Blizzard (and other studios) as well. While I am not totally sure what form that will take, I am excited to embark on a new journey to find out.”

According to the statement, Oneal worked with leadership at Activision Blizzard to “invest in the future of other women in the gaming industry” through a $1 million grant to Women in Games International, a non-profit organization for which Oneal is a board member. She will work closely with the company and non-profit to figure out the first steps for how to use the grant and its overall structure.

“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,” Blizzard Entertainment’s statement about the new leadership change back in August read in part. “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.”

What do you think about Oneal leaving her position so quickly? What do you think it could mean for Blizzard going forward? Let us know in the comments, or feel free to reach out and hit me up directly over on Twitter at @rollinbishop to talk about all things gaming.

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