Activision Blizzard is continuing a hiring spree in light of its ongoing harassment scandal. Blizzard has appointed Jessica Martinez as its first Vice President of Culture. She will implement and expand the game studio’s culture strategy, and lead a learning and development team that will help create a work environment where people feel “safe, valued” and eager to collaborate.
Martinez is a 14-year veteran of Disney, where she was Chief of Staff and advised both the Chief Security Office and the Parks Chief Technology and Digital Officer. According to Blizzard, she was known for creating diversity and a values-focused culture, and led efforts to reconcile safety when Disney bought the major Fox studios and channels.
The move comes just weeks after Activision Blizzard hired diversity chief Kristen Hines. It also follows months of employee reshuffle and organizational efforts in the wake of the scandal. The publisher has hired former Blizzard president J. Have fired or disciplined many workers for participating in or tolerating a hostile work culture, including Alan Brack. It also started a “Workplace Accountability Committee” to fight discrimination and harassment.
Whether these measures will be sufficient is still not clear. Activision Blizzard chief Bobby Kotick remains in place despite pressure to resign and a New York City lawsuit. Meanwhile, the Communications Workers of America union has filed a complaint with US labor officials, accusing the company of talking about harassment lawsuits. While Martinez can bring about valuable cultural reform, there is evidence that the firm is resistant to some forms of change.
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