If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Activision Blizzard's Frances Townsend has stepped down

EVP for corporate affairs to leave the company but continue to advise the board and Bobby Kotick

Activision Blizzard's executive vice president for corporate affairs Frances Townsend has stepped down from her position.

She had joined the company in March 2021 and her last day was Friday, September 30, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Townsend, a former homeland security advisor under US President George W. Bush, will continue to act as senior adviser to the board and CEO Bobby Kotick, but will no longer be an Activision Blizzard employee, a spokesperson told WSJ.

In the internal email sent to staff announcing Townsend's move, Kotick said that she "tirelessly and successfully navigated a challenging time for the company with leadership, conviction, and grace.”

When the lawsuit against Activision Blizzard for harassment and discrimination against women emerged last year, Townsend was prompt to call it "meritless and irresponsable," adding that it '"presented a distorted and untrue picture of [the] company."

Over 1,000 employees at the time called for her to step down from her role as executive sponsor of the ABK Employee Women's Network.

Townsend is leaving Activision as the company is in the process of being acquired by Microsoft, which is currently investigated extensively by both UK and EU regulators.

Related topics
Marie Dealessandri avatar

Marie Dealessandri

Deputy Editor

Marie Dealessandri joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2019 to head its Academy section. A journalist since 2012, she started in games in 2016 at B2B magazine MCV. She can be found (rarely) tweeting @mariedeal, usually on a loop about Baldur’s Gate and the Dead Cells soundtrack. GI resident Moomins expert.