Blizzard’s J. Allen Brack has stepped down from his position as President of Blizzard today as revealed on Blizzard’s site. Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra (the latter formerly of Microsoft) will now head the studio.
The post is titled New Leadership at Blizzard in which Brack’s stepping down is outlined,
“Starting today, J. Allen Brack will be stepping down as the leader of the studio, and Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra will co-lead Blizzard moving forward.”
Towards the end of the post, Brack posted his own message to the team and community,
“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. 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.”
Brack was with Blizzard for 15 years and later assumed the position of President after the departure of Mike Morhaime in 2019.
A letter on the investor relations site discussed the co-leadership of Oneal and Ybarra with Oneal having been part of Blizzard for 18 years, and with Ybarra coming to Blizzard after seven years as a senior executive at Microsoft.
This is all against the backdrop of the ongoing lawsuit against Activision Blizzard which alleges sexual harassment, discrimination, and more. Brack is one of those mentioned in the lawsuit. The lawsuit prompted many replies, including one from Mike Morhaime.
Brack himself penned a memo to employees in which he noted, “I disdain bro culture.” A letter was then co-signed by Blizzard employees denouncing Blizzard’s response to the lawsuit, and a walkout was then held last week.
Just recently, former Blizzard developer and co-founder of ArenaNet, Jeff Strain, called for unionization of the games industry.