Activision Blizzard's executive team has been rightfully under fire in recent weeks after the California Department of Fair Housing lawsuit against the company was made public. The suit highlights allegations of unequal pay, sexual harassment, and what many have called a general "frat boy" culture. The company brought on Fran Townsend, a former member of the George W. Bush administration who had quite a bit of work experience as a torture apologist, to serve as the company's chief compliance officer. Townsend was also supposed to serve as the sponsor of the ABK Women's Network. After blocking several members of the group on Twitter, and deleting her account, Townsend has officially stepped down as sponsor.
Last week more than 3,000 current ABK employees signed an open letter asking, among other things, for Fran Townsend to step down as sponsor of the ABK Women's Network. We are glad she listened, and hope that this will be followed by leadership addressing employees' other demands.— ABetterABK (@ABetterABK) August 7, 2021
Fran Townsend will remain at Activision Blizzard, for now, as the company has confirmed that she still has a job. Earlier this week, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick dodged the Q&A portion of the earnings release conference call, but did issue a statement. As with many of the moves over the past week, Kotick and the ATVI C suite has not given in to their employees' demands. Blizzard president J. Allen Brack stepped down from the company just three days ago, but this is not about sacrificial lambs for these employees.
Activision Blizzard employees staged a walkout just last week, and at the time asked that supporters please consider donating to the following charities:
- Black Girls CODE
- Futures Without Violence
- Girls Who Code
- Women in Animation
- Women in Games International
The fallout from last week's employee walkout is hitting Activision Blizzard in the pocket book as well, with State Farm and Coca-Cola pausing their Overwatch League sponsorships and countless World of Warcraft players canceling their subscriptions. Today's news of Townsend stepping down from a role that she was horribly suited for is a good step, but the employees and management team at Activision Blizzard are very far apart from a resolution to these ongoing issues.
Please keep it locked on Shacknews for all of the news surrounding this ongoing lawsuit and employee movement at Activision Blizzard. We can only hope that this tiny bit of good news can brighten the weekends of so many people who have had to relive trauma over the past few weeks and those who are still suffering.
Captain Business posted a new article, Activision Blizzard CCO Fran Townsend steps down as sponsor of ABK Women's Network
I really appreciate the list of demands. These are things that all companies should do, and it makes it obvious that the employees are not asking for the moon here. Just basic decency and accountability.
This looks like Activision is using her as bargaining chips. They'll fire her soon enough to appease the workers.
How would that appease anyone? She's only been with the company for a few months. She tried to step up and have a role in this and the employees have already swatted her down, I doubt she will play much of a role and I would not be surprised if she left the company but I doubt she would be fired
But her leaving would be the next thing in the negotiation process