Frances Townsend, president of corporate affairs of Activision Blizzard, has removed herself from her role as executive director of the company ' s ABK Women ' s Network.
The news that Townsend was dropped came in the wake of criticism from a resistant company email and his retweeting of an article calling out whistleblowers.
According to an article published by The Washington Post, Townsend said that by dropping the number of sponsors, he was doing what was "right for the Network." Townsend also said he will “continue to support and advance the work of the Network to the best of his ability,” (thanks, IGN).
Townsend was recently criticized by current and former employees about the leaked email in which he said he brought the lawsuit. against Activision Blizzard of the state of California showed a “twisted and unrealistic picture” of the company. He went on to say the allegations were "factually incorrect," adult, and said "none of the stories are out of context." The email also called the lawsuit "frivolous and irresponsible."
According to two employees speaking to The Washington Post, Townsend hosted a Zoom call with employees on July 23 in which he defended his email. According to him, the email was obtained after following the guidance of legal language advice, and the "result no longer sounds like his voice." It was after the call that Towsned decided to step down from the women’s network.
Townsend was criticized again when he retweeted an article "The Problem With Whistleblowing." Many Blizzard employees find this unsatisfactory because of the amount of current and former employees sharing their stories online and with journalists. Due to the criticisms, Townsend began blocking members of the press as well as Blizzard employees before eventually deactivating his account – of his own volition.
In response to statements made by Activision Blizzard calling the lawsuit "trivial," along with the initial statement made by Townsend, employees took a walk to stand in solidarity with current and former employees in stories shared, support the lawsuit, and to protest the current leadership.
The staff also signed an open letter demanding those responsible be held accountable. Company CEO Bobby Kotick issued a statement afterwards, acknowledging that the company’s initial response to the allegations filed in the lawsuit was “deaf,” however, employees felt his statement was not fully addressed. their concerns.
Also about employees is Kotick's hiring of law firm WilmerHale to review company policies and procedures. The problem Blizzard employees have at the company, is it has a reputation for busting unions, and shouting calls for collective bargaining with workers.
In the wake of all this, Blizzard president J.Allen Brack and HR chief Jesse Meschuk have left their positions, shareholders have filed a class-action suit against company for hiding Califonia’s investigation into the company, and Overwatch League sponsors Coca-Cola, Kellogg, and State Farm are re-evaluating their sponsorships.
Considering the lawsuit was recently filed, it may be shortly before Activision Blizzard's day is on court day.
Activision Blizzard's post executive resigned as executive backer of the company's Women ' s Network which first appeared on VG247.