Another top manager at Blizzard Entertainment has left in the wake of a California lawsuit alleging widespread sexual harassment and discrimination at parent company Activision Blizzard. Following the news that Blizzard president J. Allen Brack stepped down earlier today to “pursue new opportunities,” the company confirmed that Blizzard’s head of HR has also moved on.
As first reported by Bloomberg, Blizzard’s SVP of Global HR, Jesse Meschuk, left the company earlier this week. The departure is notable because in addition to alleging that women at Activision Blizzard were sexually harassed and received lower pay and fewer promotions than their male counterparts, California’s lawsuit also includes allegations that corporate HR failed to protect employees and properly address issues when they were reported.
According to a new in-depth report by Axios, several current and former Activision Blizzard employees either didn’t trust HR to help them when they were harassed or were met with skepticism and pushback when they did try to report their issues to HR.
“One of the things [the HR rep] commented on was that she was surprised I wasn’t crying or I wasn’t more hysterical,” one current employee told Axios, in regard to a time she alerted HR to being physically assaulted by a coworker.
“He’s really sorry and he really wants to work at Blizzard. And he says that you were really friendly with him,” HR reportedly told her when she followed up on her original report.
Other current and former employees told Axios that high turnover in HR and a lack of a paper trail in many instances contributed to the dysfunction and lack of trust.
“We will not tolerate anyone found to have impeded the integrity of our processes for evaluating claims and imposing appropriate consequences,” a spokesperson for Activision Blizzard told Axios. “If employees have any concerns about how Human Resources handled claims, we have other reporting options, including anonymous ones.”
Current Activision Blizzard employees have formed a new group called the ABK Workers Alliance to continue pushing for changes at the company beyond the “listening sessions” and third-party investigations CEO Bobby Kotick has already promised. Those demands include an end to mandatory arbitration and more pay transparency, among other measures.
“We call on you and your executive leadership team to do better, and to fully address our list of demands,” the group announced today. “We will not abandon our cause. Our ranks continue to grow across multiple Activision Blizzard studios.”