Blizzard hires its first vice president of culture to help fix its culture


The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing sued Blizzard last July, saying it “created a culture of ‘persistent sexual harassment’ and gender-based discrimination.” The revelations that followed over the rest of the year only served to confirm those claims, and even as accusations of retaliation continue to pour ina new group of leaders say they are committed to making changes.

In January, Blizzard president Mike Ybarra I wrote about “the work we’re doing to rebuild your trust in Blizzard,” and included descriptions of several full-time leadership roles dedicated to changing the culture. It appears that two of the positions have been filled, as Activision Blizzard named Kristen Hines as its new chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer last month, and today Blizzard Entertainment Announced Jessica Martínez as its first vice president, responsible for culture.

According to Blizzard, his responsibilities include “growing and implementing our culture strategy, ensuring alignment across all teams and functions, and revamping talent development and learning programs.” The ad says he is leading the learning and development team, while working with “communications, events, and each of the functional and franchise leaders.” Martinez is credited with 14 years of “leading strategy, communications, operations, and employee experience” at Disney.

Beyond those positions, Ybarra’s post mentioned the addition of “a new HR organizational leader who will build trust, empower our teams, and help foster a safe and positive work environment for all.” He also said the executives’ compensation would depend on their success in “creating a safe, inclusive and creative work environment at Blizzard.”


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