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Blizzard’s HR boss is the latest exec to say goodbye

Jesse Meschuk left the company, a spokesperson told Bloomberg

Inside The E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo Conference Image: Getty
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

Following the news that Blizzard Entertainment president J. Allen Brack has left the company, Bloomberg News reported that a top-level human resources employee is out, too.

Jesse Meschuk, whose title was SVP and senior people officer for Blizzard Entertainment and Activision Blizzard, left “this week,” Activision Blizzard confirmed to Bloomberg News. No further details were given regarding Meschuk’s departure, but it comes after California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a lawsuit on July 22 that said Activision Blizzard’s female employees were subject to “constant sexual harassment” at the company, alongside other allegations. Thousands of employees have since signed an open letter supporting the lawsuit before walking out of work in protest last week.

Activision Blizzard executives have sent out mixed messages about the lawsuit, some of which inspired outrage from current and former employees. That group of employees said Activision Blizzard’s response to the lawsuit — particularly that of Fran Townsend — was “abhorrent and insulting.”

In the time since the initial filing, current and former employees have continued to speak out about the toxic culture they say they’ve experienced at Activision Blizzard since its founding. Axios reporter Megan Farokhmanesh published a report Tuesday exposing how the company’s HR department “failed” its workers. The report describes widespread problems within the HR department, which led to employee experiences being “undermined and discounted.”

The Axios report said that employees often faced skepticism over claims. Several former employees described similar experiences in interviews with Polygon, with one source specifically calling out the high turnover rate mentioned in Axios’ report. “It was a rotating door,” they said.