Activision Blizzard hires new chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer

This follows a lack of QA department raises for unionised developers

Amid ongoing controversies surrounding workplace culture, Activision Blizzard has hired a new chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer.

The Call Of Duty maker announced via a press release yesterday (April 11) that Kristen Hines will be starting in the role on April 25.

Hines will be working to “implement programs and policies that foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace environment” by working across all gaming teams to ensure diverse perspectives are included across all aspects of development.

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Before coming to Activision Blizzard, Hines was at Accenture from 2006 where she was managing director, and led the global inclusion, diversity and equity practice there.

Hines will be a key part of Activision Blizzard’s five-year push to increase the number of women and non-binary people in its workforce by 50 per cent.

world of warcraft
World Of Warcraft Shadowlands. Credit: Activision Blizzard

“Activision Blizzard has ambitious goals to become the most welcoming and inclusive company in the gaming industry,” said Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick of Hines’ appointment.

“We have already made significant progress ensuring the safety and well-being of our employees, and we are excited to have Kristen join our leadership team to help drive even greater improvement,” added Kotick.

After the landmark acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft, four US Senators have accused the company of protecting Kotick, as his presence at the company has been mired with misconduct allegations.

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Activision Blizzard’s latest hire comes less than a week after the company made nearly 1,100 quality assurance (QA) testers at the company full time employees and gave them raises. Despite this, those attempting to unionise at Raven Software under the Game Workers Alliance – who led the charge on improving QA conditions – will not be included in the wage raises.

In other news, Nintendo has acquired space near its Kyoto, Japan headquarters to expand with another building, with a focus on the company’s R&D operations.

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