Activision Blizzard announced today that the co-leader of the publisher, Jen Oneal, would be stepping down from her post.
Mike Ybarra, who joined the company with Oneal in August will step into the role of being the sole leader of the company. The pair joined following the departure of J. Allen Brack, which happened in the wake of the numerous allegations against Activision Blizzard.
Before being absorbed into Activision Blizzard, Oneal headed up Vicarious Visions, the team behind Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2, the well-received remake that was the last project published under the Vicarious Visions name.
In a letter addressing the company following the announcement of her departure, Oneal wrote: “I am doing this not because I am without hope for Blizzard, quite the opposite — I’m inspired by the passion of everyone here, working towards meaningful, lasting change with their whole hearts”.
She continued: “This energy has inspired me to step out and explore how I can do more to have games and diversity intersect, and hopefully make a broader industry impact that will benefit Blizzard (and other studios) as well. While I am not totally sure what form that will take, I am excited to embark on a new journey to find out.”
Oneal will leave the company at the end of the year. She has not announced where she will be heading at this time. In an interview with GamesBeat‘s Dean Takahashi, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick said: “I had a lot of confidence, and still do, in Jen’s ability to lead. I think she really wants to go and transform the industry. Her mission in life is making great games and transforming the industry so that gaming, as more women enter the workforce, is more inviting and welcoming to women. It will be a great opportunity for us to partner with her as she leads the charge.”