Activision Blizzard protest organiser leaving company 1

Activision Blizzard protest organiser leaving company

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Activision Blizzard protest organiser leaving company 2

Jessica Gonzalez, a key figure in the recent employee action at Activision Blizzard, is leaving the company and quitting game development.

Gonzalez announced her resignation yesterday, in a message in which she further criticised Activision Blizzard boss Bobby Kotick and said his “inaction and refusal to take accountability” was “driving out great talent.

“Products will suffer until you are removed from your position as CEO,” she wrote. “This may seem harsh, but you had years to fix the culture and look at where the company currently stands.”

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In a Slack message which she subsequently shared publicly via Twitter, Gonzalez thanked colleagues for their support over the past months, and said she believed “with enough education and awareness”, Activision Blizzard could still “be a great place” in the future.

But her decision to leave now, she said, was part of her “putting my wellbeing first”.

Last month, Activision was the focus of a damning Wall St Journal report which detailed alleged sexual harassment, assault and inappropriate behaviour at the developer behind Call of Duty. It followed a stream of reports of a similarly toxic culture at sister studio Blizzard.

Particular criticism was levelled towards Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, including claims of how much he knew, and suggestion he could have done more.

The report’s publication sent shockwaves through Activision Blizzard and around the games industry. Employees walked out and more than 1800 signed a petition demanding Kotick step down. PlayStation, Microsoft and Nintendo spoke out. But – for now – Kotick remains.

In response to word of her resignation, several colleagues have publicly praised Gonzalez – who works as a senior test analyst – for her role in leading the recent employee action as part of the A Better ABK group.

Speaking to Axios, Gonzalez’s colleague Valetine Powell described her as a “pillar of culture” at the company, who had “been a constant voice for her whole time at ABK, pushing to see life get better for marginalised groups”.

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