Blizzard Blizzard announced that Jen Oneal, Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning for the company’s Games Development Division, will be leaving to pursue other endeavors.
Blizzard Entertainment announced the departure of their senior vice president, Jen Oneal. Activision Blizzard pledged $1 million to Women in Games International. Read more in detail here: blizzard activision.
Jen will transition into a new role working with Activision Blizzard and the Women in Games International non-profit organization to use a new $1 million grant issued by Activision to fund skill-building and mentorship programs for women in the gaming industry, while her exact departure date has not been announced.
I’d like to extend my greetings to the Blizzard community.
Many of us have spent the previous several months asking ourselves how we might make the most good impact in our workplaces, games, and communities.
On a larger scale, Mike Ybarra and I, along with the rest of Blizzard, have been navigating the significant changes we need to make in order to be known as the creative powerhouse that brought hundreds of millions of players to Azeroth, Sanctuary, and other Blizzard games, all while ensuring our workplace and game communities are truly inclusive, safe, and welcoming to all.
On a micro level, as I’ve listened to people’s tales from all around Blizzard and been inspired by their bravery and conviction, I’ve been considering the possibilities of what I can do as an individual to make the most impactful difference. I’ve spent the past 20 years of my career producing games; they’re my lifeline. Along the road, I was also lucky to discover my passion and voice in the field of diversity, equality, and inclusion.
Those of you who have played our games know that our adventures may sometimes keep you on the path you started out on, but there are times when a new mission calls to us.
I’d want to personally inform you that I’ve decided to stand down as co-CEO of Blizzard Entertainment and will move to a new role before leaving ABK at the end of the year. Mike Ybarra will take over as Blizzard’s leader immediately. I’m doing this not because I don’t believe in Blizzard; on the contrary, I’m inspired by everyone here’s commitment to making genuine, long-term change. This spirit has motivated me to take a step forward and see what I can do to help bring gaming and diversity together, and maybe have a larger industry influence that benefits Blizzard (and other companies) as well. While I’m not sure exactly how it will manifest, I’m looking forward to embarking on a new adventure to find out.
ABK’s leadership has graciously offered their support for my decision and has collaborated with me on a plan to invest in the future of other women in the gaming industry by agreeing to make a $1 million grant to Women in Games International, a fantastic non-profit organization that cultivates and advances equality and diversity in the global games industry, and of which I am a board member. This money will go towards skill development and mentoring initiatives.
With my remaining time here, I’ll hand over my duties to Mike and move into a new job where I’ll work closely with Activision Blizzard and WIGI to figure out how the grant will be used and structured. The collaboration has a lot of promise, and it’s just the latest move in a long-term effort to provide more support, tools, and direction to women in the gaming business.
Mike has been very supportive throughout my decision-making process about this transfer, and I have complete faith in his ability to manage Blizzard. Mike and I have been collaborating on many of the initiatives we’ll take to keep Blizzard a safer, stronger, and more inclusive place to work, and I’m sure he’ll be sharing some of them with you soon.
I wanted to personally inform the Blizzard community because I greatly trust in Mike and the rest of Blizzard’s leadership, both in terms of Blizzard’s culture and in terms of Blizzard’s games. The finest days for Blizzard are yet to come. That is something I sincerely believe. I also hope that this letter inspires you to consider what you can do to make everyone around you feel welcome, comfortable, and free to be themselves, regardless of gender, color, or identity.
Thank you for your continued support of our teams throughout the previous several months. I know that your good words have been very beneficial to our folks at this difficult time.
Thank you, too, to everyone at Blizzard for your openness, faith in a brighter future, and great work ethic, creativity, and enthusiasm. You motivated me to forge my own path in promoting the cause of equality, and I hope you inspire our players to follow in your footsteps.
Thank you once again,
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