Blizzard president J. Allen Brack isn’t the only executive leaving the company today after presiding over a culture now accused of fostering “constant sexual harassment.” Jesse Meschuk, the company’s head of global human resources, has also now departed, an Activision Blizzard spokesperson confirmed to Bloomberg and to The Verge.
“Jesse Meschuk is no longer with the company,” wrote an Activision Blizzard spokesperson. The company declined to comment further. Meschuk appears to have deleted his Twitter account as well.
While Brack oversaw the entire Blizzard brand and was named in the state of California’s lawsuit as an alleged enabler, Blizzard’s human resources department was also allegedly complicit. The lawsuit suggested that employees were “discouraged from complaining as human resource personnel were known to be close to alleged harassers,” and one of the people pictured in photographs of the “Cosby Suite” was allegedly an HR employee, according to an ex-Blizzard developer who spoke to Kotaku.
“suck it up”
In an report published by Axios today, multiple current and former Blizzard employees called the company’s human resources team part of the problem. They would report issues only to be ignored, belittled, and retaliated against, they claimed. An HR rep reportedly told one employee to “suck it up” because they were “acting like a brat.” Another told Axios that after she was assaulted by a male colleague, the HR rep took his side, telling her to work from home or switch departments. “He’s really sorry and he really wants to work at Blizzard. And he says that you were really friendly with him,” they reportedly said.
Last Tuesday, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick promised to clean house, writing that “Anyone found to have impeded the integrity of our processes for evaluating claims and imposing appropriate consequences will be terminated.”
On Activision Blizzard’s earnings call Tuesday, Kotick defended the company’s intent to make necessary changes. “I want to start by making clear to everyone that there’s no place at our company where discrimination, harassment, or unequal treatment of any kind will be tolerated. Nowhere,” he said, adding that “we will be the company that sets the example for this in our industry.” He also continued to suggest, however, that the allegations were old news. “Over the past several years we’ve made significant changes to address company culture,” he said.
“When we come together, we make some of the best games in the industry, and we’re now seeing that energy applied to our culture, which is equally important,” Jen Oneal, who was made one of Blizzard’s new co-leads on Tuesday, said later on the call. “There’s a lot of work ahead of us, but the passion and productivity are already here. When our people feel safe and supported, the rest is going to take care of itself.”