Blizzard: The series of disagreements involving Activision Blizzard’s leaders and employees has gained a new chapter after a negative repercussion action by a high-level executive of the developer.
To start with, Frances Townsend, who is the company’s vice president of corporate affairs and compliance, posted on her personal Twitter profile an article from The Atlantic magazine that talks about “whistleblower problems” in contemporary society and the potential for this to generate problems for the people involved.
Fran is used to commenting on everyday and political cases on the platform, but this text was seen as a kind of not-so-subtle indirection to the multiple cases of harassment and toxic culture in the workplace that are part of the original lawsuit against the company, which is conducted by California Department of Labor and Housing Justice.
To make matters worse, Townsend apparently began blocking several people who posted polite responses against the text — including a number of employees from Activision Blizzard itself, as well as journalists and developers from other companies.
The case had bad repercussions and was denounced by journalist Jason Schreier, who has been following the upheavals in the company. The action is seen as incompatible with the brand’s promises to establish dialogue and give voice to employees.
Townsend’s image was already damaged before it was posted on Twitter. She was responsible for the most critical comments to the allegations, alleging that the process creates a “distorted and false” image of the company, with reports “factually incorrect, old and out of context”. In response, a letter written by current and former employees of the company asks for a retraction and the executive’s departure from one of her additional positions.
The hiring of the executive was not unanimous. For years, she served as a National Security Consultant under President George W. Bush and, on more than one occasion, has spoken out in favor of tactics of torturing prisoners as a method of interrogation.