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Today, President and COO Daniel Alegre shared the following email with our employees:
We have been focused on creating a stronger, more inclusive ABK while we continue to create new content and games for our player community around the world. This year, we have seen Hearthstone launch a new mode in Mercenaries, Call of Duty launch new seasons on its march towards Vanguard, Candy Crush challenge its All-Stars, Sanctuary’s gates open up yet again in Diablo, among other achievements. You should all be proud that you have continued to do this in the wake of a much-needed cultural shift; we are working hard to introduce and implement many initiatives shared by Bobby and the entire leadership team to strengthen and improve our employee community.
We will continue to embrace the progress we’re making, and are so appreciative of your ongoing dedication to each other and to our players. With that in mind, I wanted to share with you some news we will be announcing that relates to our employee community.
First, 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. After more than 20 years making an impact within our game-worlds at Activision, Vicarious Visions and now Blizzard, she is taking time to find her next adventure with a goal to bring her two passions closer together - game development and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Earlier today, she shared the news directly with Blizzard. We thank her for her immense contributions to so many of our classic franchises and games like Tony Hawk, Crash Bandicoot, and Diablo 2: Resurrected among others.
Second, to support Jen in her involvement with Women in Games International (WIGI), the company is making a US $1 million grant to WIGI in her honor. WIGI is a fantastic non-profit organization where Jen is a board member, that cultivates and advances equality and diversity in the global games industry. With our grant, we will focus on creating better support, resources and guidance to women in the gaming industry. Jen will depart the company at the end of the year, and given her strong relationship with WIGI, spend her remaining time here transitioning into a new role building the foundation of these programs funded by the grant. This is another commitment that we hope to have a lasting impact on the industry as a whole.
As a result of this announcement, Mike Ybarra will take over Jen’s current responsibilities at Blizzard. I have gotten to know Mike very well since he stepped into the Blizzard leadership role and have appreciated his compassion for the teams and his vision and aspirations for this next phase for Blizzard and its respective franchises. Mike and the rest of Blizzard’s leadership team are wholeheartedly committed to our people, and I have the utmost confidence they will ensure Blizzard will continue to create excellent games that connect the world while continuing to build a culture of respect and inclusiveness.
Thank you all for your continued commitment to each other, our mission, and our players.