Another departure in the midst of a lawsuit and an investigation
Blizzard Entertainment’s chief legal officer announced her departure from the company on Monday. This is only the most recent departure amid investigations and a lawsuit into allegations of sexual harassment and employee discrimination at Blizzard in recent months.
Claire Hart made the announcement on LinkedIn, noting that last Friday was her last day at Blizzard. For the last three years, she was officially the chief legal advisor and a senior vice president at Blizzard, but she also directed the legal team for Activision in China and the Asia-Pacific region.
“The past three years have been full of unexpected twists and turns,” Hart said. “But I feel honored to have worked with and met so many great people at Blizzard and across the Activision Blizzard businesses.” Hart said she will be taking a short break before moving on to something new.
Parent company Activision Blizzard was hit with a lawsuit in July from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. The DFEH is investigating allegations that the company hosted a “frat boy” culture that was host to widespread sexual harassment and discrimination. Blizzard’s response to the claims was met with criticism from across the gaming industry and sparked an employee walkout.
Later, Blizzard president J. Allen Brack stepped down. He had been with the company since 2006. Soon after, multiple Blizzard designers left, including the director of the upcoming Diablo IV.
Earlier this month, the Communications Workers of America filed a complaint in support of employees, alleging that Activision Blizzard had placed them under strict surveillance to stop them from cooperating with the DFEH. The DFEH also accused Activision Blizzard of shredding documents related to the allegations, a claim Activision Blizzard denies.
The SEC earlier this week started investigating the company’s handling of the situation, subpoenaing it for documents and internal communication records.