Blizzard – President Brack resigns & is replaced by 2 new people

Blizzard president Brack resigns and is replaced by 2 new people. J. Allen Brack, the president of Warcraft and... Fragster | 4. August 2021

Blizzard president Brack resigns and is replaced by 2 new people. J. Allen Brack, the president of Warcraft and Overwatch studio Blizzard Entertainment has resigned after the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a lawsuit alleging harassment and discrimination.

Brack is one of the parties named several times in the lawsuit. Shortly before that, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick was announcing that people would be fired. The Santa Monica-based company has announced that Brack will “resign.” He will now be replaced by two vice presidents: Jennifer “Jen” Oneal and Mike Ybarra.

Who are the two new ones

Jen Oneal joined Blizzard in January as executive vice president of development, where she led and supported the development of the Diablo and Overwatch franchises. Jen is the former head of Vicarious Visions (which is now part of Blizzard Entertainment).

She has been in the games industry since 1998 and has been a producer on Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure, producer and head of studio on quite a few Tony Hawks games, among others. Oneal is also extremely involved in promoting women in the industry.

She has been part of the Young Women’s Leadership Initiative since 2015 and a member of the Women Presidents Organization since 2017. After many years at XBOX, Mike Ybarra joined the company in 2019 as Executive Vice President and General Manager of Platform and Technology, where he oversees the development of Battle.net.

Prior to Blizzard, Ybarra worked at Microsoft for over 19 years and before that at software developer Hewlett-Packard for another 2 years. At Microsoft, he was an early manager and also worked on Age of Empires Online, Ryse: Son of Rome (Legendary Editions), Sunset Overdrive, and Quantum Break.

Jen and Mike have more than three decades of combined experience in the games industry. Going forward, they will share responsibility for game development and operations. Both will work to ensure that Blizzard is a safe place to work for everyone and will seek to restore trust in Blizzard.

Brack released a brief statement

“I am confident that Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra will provide the leadership Blizzard needs to reach its full potential and accelerate the pace of change. I expect they will do so with passion and enthusiasm, and can be counted on to lead with the highest level of integrity and commitment to the components of our culture that make Blizzard so special.”

A separate announcement from Activision said Brack is leaving the company to “pursue new opportunities.” What those ventures might be given his now disastrous reputation is unknown. Brack had been with Blizzard since 2006, almost 15 years. Brack was one of the people explicitly named in the California lawsuit.

He was accused of ignoring internal reports of sexual harassment and sexism, including allegations that former World of Warcraft creative director Alex Afrasiabi has been constantly sexually harassing women in the company.