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Blizzard hires former Disney exec Jessica Martinez as first head of culture

New position created as Warcraft firm continues to rectify workplace issues following abuse allegations last year

Blizzard has recruited Jessica Martinez to the newly created position of vice president, head of culture.

Martinez joins after more than 14 years at The Walt Disney Company in various senior roles focused on strategy, communications and employee experience, where Blizzard says she "[created] a values-driven culture that connected global teams and celebrated diversity."

She will work with Blizzard leadership on various initiatives to improve the Warcraft firm's workplace, including revamping its learning and talent development programs.

The appointment comes during ongoing efforts to address issues with toxicity at Blizzard, following last year's allegations of harassment, abuse and discrimination that emerged around the State of California's lawsuit against Activision Blizzard.

Many of the specific accusations made centred around Blizzard staff and events, with reports emerging that co-founder and former CEO Mike Morhaime, along with other members of senior leadership, had been made aware of rampant misconduct within the company.

Shortly after the lawsuit was filed, Blizzard president J. Allen Brack left the company after 15 years, replaced by co-leaders Mike Ybarra and Jen Oneal.

However, Oneal also left just three months later, with reports later emerging that she had been "tokenised, marginalised and discriminated against" -- including claims that there was a pay discrepancy between her own salary and that of Ybarra.

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James Batchelor avatar

James Batchelor


James Batchelor is Editor-in-Chief at GamesIndustry.biz. He is based in Essex and has been a B2B games journalist since 2006