Blizzard Entertainment co-leader stepping down amid suit

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A co-leader of gaming company Blizzard Entertainment, Jen Oneal, will be stepping down after just three months in the top position, the company said Tuesday. 

The shakeup comes as Blizzard, the company behind popular games such as World of Warcraft and Overwatch, grapples with ongoing fallout over allegations that it fostered a workplace culture that subjected women to sexual harassment and lower pay than male peers. 

“Jen Oneal will be stepping away from her leadership duties at Blizzard to dedicate her time to one of her greatest passions — bringing greater diversity and equity to the gaming industry,” Blizzard President and COO Daniel Alegre said in a statement. 

Blizzard announced it will be making a $1 million grant to Women in Games International, an organization that Oneal sits on the board of, in Oneal’s honor. 

Mike Ybarra, who became co-lead at the same time as Oneal, will take over Oneal’s responsibilities, according to the announcement. 

Oneal and Ybarra were named to the top spots in August after the former leader, J. Allen Brack, stepped down roughly a week after Blizzard workers staged a protest in the wake of a lawsuit California filed against the company alleging harassment and discrimination. 

The complaint alleged women were subjected to “constant sexual harassment” and earned lower pay than male counterparts for similar work. 

The company rejected the allegations when the suit was filed. A spokesperson said the state’s complaint included “distorted, and in many cases false, descriptions of Blizzard’s past.”

Tags BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT Daniel Alegre Jen Oneal Mike Ybarra Overwatch Sexual harassment Women in Games International World of Warcraft

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