Activision Blizzard hires former Disney exec as new HR boss

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Activision has hired Julie Hodges, formerly senior vice president of corporate HR and the new chief people officer of compensation, benefits and talent acquisition at The Walt Disney Company. Hodges, who will replace Activision’s current CPO Claudine Naughton, will lead “all aspects of human resources,” from talent acquisition and compensation to “diversity, equity and inclusion.”

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“I can’t think of a better person to join our team and help lead our ongoing commitment to an inclusive workplace,” said Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick. Announcement. “Julie is the seasoned leader we need to make sure we are the most inspiring, equitable and exemplary entertainment company in the world.”

Hodges, who spent 32 years at Disney, leaned on similar themes in his own statement, stressing the need to “welcome all perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds.”


“A workforce where everyone feels valued is critical to the success of our business, as is a trusting, engaging and safe environment that encourages creativity and innovation and in which all employees can thrive.” “Doing this requires a collective effort, and I look forward to making sure we support the diversity of our talents to bring our people together and continue to create amazing entertainment.”

Activision has good reason to make its diversity and inclusiveness efforts as visible as possible. In July, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a lawsuit alleging discrimination, sexual harassment and “frat boy” culture at the studio. The authorities initially pushed back, but quickly adopted a more conciliatory approach. Many employees seemed adamant, however: The walkout, which took place a week after the DFEH lawsuit was filed, attracted messages of support from across the industry, most notably Ubisoft, which is grappling with workplace abuse issues of its own.

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a representative told Stephen Totilo The departure of Nerdshala Gaming that Naughton is unrelated to the lawsuit, but has led to the ouster of several others, including Blizzard president Jay Alan Brack, Diablo 4 game director Louis Barriga, lead level designer Jesse McCree and World Including Off-Warcraft designer Jonathan Laycraft. . Blizzard has also removed in-game character names that refer to all three from Overwatch and World of Warcraft.

The DFEH lawsuit alleges that complaints about pay discrimination and harassment went unheeded by Blizzard HR, and that the department was “not held in high esteem” or trusted by employees. In August, Activision Blizzard’s human resources department was accused of sabotaging documents related to allegations of misconduct, and earlier today, a new complaint filed with the National Labor Relations Board alleges that Activision Blizzard is committing labor violations. including intimidation, surveillance and interrogation of employees. To discourage employees from organizing and discussing workplace situations.

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