Blizzard Is Already Losing Its First Female Studio Co-Head

Blizzard Is Already Losing Its First Female Studio Co-Head
Image: Blizzard

Jen Oneal, who recently assumed the top position at Blizzard in the wake of a significant reckoning at the company, will step down at the end of the year, she wrote in a statement today. Her co-lead, Mike Ybarra, will take over the rest of her responsibilities.

Staff, including those part of the ABK Alliance, learned about Oneal’s departure during an investor call this afternoon.

“This is a sad moment for many of us at ABK, who were excited to have a new experience with a Woman of Colour heading our company,” the ABK Alliance wrote on Twitter. “We found out during our Shareholder meeting — and wish Jen well in her future endeavours.”

During that same shareholder meeting, Activision Blizzard announced the delays of Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV. In August, Diablo IV’s director and lead designer were let go from the company.

“I want you to hear from me personally that I have made the decision to step away from co-leading Blizzard Entertainment and will transition to a new position before departing ABK at the end of the year,” Oneal wrote today. “I am doing this not because I am without hope for Blizzard, quite the opposite. … This energy has inspired me to step out and explore how I can do more to have games and diversity intersect, and hopefully make a broader industry impact that will benefit Blizzard (and other studios) as well.”

This is a developing story. We will update with more details as they become available.


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