Bulletins

Activision Blizzard hires Disney exec amid ongoing harassment crisis

Activision Blizzard's chief people officer is leaving and being replaced by Disney's Julie Hodges.

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The Activision Blizzard storm rages on.

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Activision Blizzard is parting ways with its chief people officer, Claudine Naughton, the company announced on Tuesday. The company said Naughton's departure is unrelated to its ongoing sexual harassment crisis instigated last month by a California labor lawsuit, which alleged widespread discrimination against female employees.


Replacing Naughton is Julie Hodges, the senior vice president of human resources at The Walt Disney Company.

It's not immediately clear why Naughton is leaving the company. But Activision Blizzard is still under intense pressure from employees, the game industry at large and labor and activist groups. Earlier Tuesday, the Communications Workers of America filed unfair labor charges against the company for allegedly trying to squash union organizing efforts in the wake of the lawsuit.

Late last month, California's Department of Fair Employment & Housing, the state agency suing the company for harassment and discrimination, expanded its lawsuit to cover temporary workers at Activision Blizzard. The agency also accused the company's HR department of shredding documents relevant to its investigation and said Activision Blizzard was interfering with the agency's efforts to speak with current and former employees through the use of non-disclosure agreements. Activision Blizzard denied the claims at the time.

The company has parted ways with some executives at Blizzard Entertainment, the subsidiary most often named in California's lawsuit and the source of many of the complaint's allegations. That included former president J. Allen Brack and HR chief Jesse Meschuk.

But none of Activision Blizzard's executives have left prior to Naughton, and the company has refused to acknowledge any of the demands made by an internal group of employees, known as the ABK Workers Alliance, that have organized protests and other labor actions to promote change and accountability.

In addition to Hodges, Activision Blizzard is also adding another new executive to its ranks: Sandeep Dube, the senior vice president of revenue management at Delta Airlines. Dube will become Activision Blizzard's acting chief commercial officer. Both start later this month.

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