Activision Blizzard has confirmed that one other Blizzard higher-up is no longer with the studio.
Former Blizzard president, J. Allen Brack, who left the developer this week, is not the only senior to depart the storied studio. Activision Blizzard has confirmed to Bloomberg that HR executive, Jesse Meschuk, also left this week.
Meschuk was Blizzard’s top HR person, having recently served as the studio’s SVP of global human resources. Meschuk spent 12 years at Blizzard.
Just as news of Meschuk’s departure started making the rounds, Axios published a report painting a grim picture of the company’s HR department, which a number of current and former staff said helped cover up cases of harassment and workplace misconduct, and undermined employee reports brought to it.
According to the report, HR is said to have regularly protected abusers, in some cases advising victims against taking further action. “This isn’t a fight you want to fight,” one person is said to have been told by HR.
The department reportedly has a reputation of doing nothing. The report also describes a case where one manager “stood over” an employee’s desk, preventing her from leaving during a heated argument. When the incident was brought to HR’s attention, the victim was told it wasn’t harassment as the manager “didn’t touch you.” Described as “untouchable”, the same manager would go on to be promoted and remains at the company.
This incident caused the victim to be passed over for promotion, stunting her career progress.
In a different case, another employee said HR was incredulous when she reported having been physically assaulted by a colleague. “One of the things [the HR rep] commented on was that she was surprised I wasn’t crying or I wasn’t more hysterical,” the victim said.
Although Activision Blizzard told Axios that “If employees have any concerns about how human resources handled claims, we have other reporting options, including anonymous ones,” current and former staff say HR had no measures in place to protect victims.
The full report is worth reading for a look at how things got here.
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