Blizzard has announced its first Vice President, Head of Culture, Jessica Martinez. This new role is part of the company’s ongoing work to follow pledges that it would do better in terms of more diverse hiring, a better working environment, and responsive conduct following a series of legal issues, investigations, harassment allegations, and related public scandals.
Martinez will work with Blizzard on culture related matters, including “revamping learning and talent development programs”. One of the agreements in the company’s overall settlement with the United States Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission (EEOC) included working to foster and develop more talent from underrepresented groups.
Blizzard is working as part of an overall effort aimed at improving the culture and working environment. This year began big for Blizzard, with the announcement of a deal for Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard King for nearly $70 billion, and the company has been focusing on its games, while also hiring to continue work it promised to do. “Making the values of our connections show up in what we do is how we bring humanity back to business,” Martinez says.
“Jessica will lead the learning and development team, while working closely with communications, events, and each of the franchise and functional leaders,” the announcement further described Martinez’ expected work.
This hire comes on the heels of Blizzard itself hiring Makaiya Brown as their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Development Lead. Activision Blizzard recently also picked up Kristen Hines as Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer for the whole company. Last year, the company COO noted that a request to add a more inclusive hiring system was “unworkable” and later in the year, accusations and investigations began emerging.
Actions over the past few months on this front, such as publishing a companywide representation report and accepting responsibility, then promising to do better and improve workplace culture seem to be coming to fruition with these recent hires. With the potential Microsoft deal and other attempts to turn things around, we’ll have to check back to see the ultimate impact.
See more on this announcement over at Blizzard.