Blizzard Hires First Head Of Culture To Help Improve Diversity And Inclusivity
The hiring comes after Activision Blizzard has been criticized for sexual harassment and discrimination.
Blizzard Entertainment has hired its first ever Vice President, Head of Culture to help make the Overwatch and Diablo company have a more "diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace culture."
Jessica Martinez has joined Blizzard to help lead the effort to empower workers to feel they can "learn, grow, and bring their most creative selves to their work," Blizzard said in a news post.
Martinez previously worked at The Walt Disney Company for more than 14 years as its Chief of Staff and strategic advisor in the Parks & Resorts division.
"Jessica and the Blizzard leadership team will be responsible for growing and implementing our culture strategy, ensuring alignment across all teams and functions, and revamping learning and talent development programs," the company said in a statement.
Martinez said in her own statement, "When you create a people-first environment where teams feel safe, valued, and work together toward a shared purpose, everyone thrives–the employees, the players, and the business."
Martinez will work with Blizzard's communications, events, and the leaders of the company's franchise teams. "Making the values of our connections show up in what we do is how we bring humanity back to business," Martinez said.
The hiring of Martinez comes at a tumultuous time for Blizzard and parent company Activision Blizzard. For the past year, the company has made headlines for various workplace culture issues. At Blizzard specifically, the company ousted multiple developers, including Diablo 4's director.
Former Blizzard president J. Allen Brack stepped down in 2021 in light of a state of California lawsuit alleging a widespread culture of sexual harassment and discrimination at Activision Blizzard. One of his replacements, Jen Oneal, left her position as co-president after just three months, and it was later revealed that she was not offered equal pay until resigning.
Martinez and all other Activision Blizzard employees are expected to soon become Microsoft employees, as part of the Xbox company's $75 billion pending takeover of Activision Blizzard.
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