Activision's Compliance Chief Steps Down Ahead of Microsoft Deal




  • In Business
  • 2022-10-01 00:55:23Z
  • By Bloomberg
 

(Bloomberg) -- Activision Blizzard Inc.'s chief compliance officer, who drew scrutiny over her response to sexual assault allegations last year, is stepping down as the video game publisher seeks to close its sale to Microsoft Corp.

Most Read from Bloomberg

  • MacKenzie Scott Files for Divorce From Science Teacher Husband

  • Top Apple Executive Is Leaving After Making Crude Remarks in TikTok Video

  • Meta to Cut Headcount for First Time, Slash Budgets Across Teams

  • Marjorie Taylor Greene's Husband Files for Divorce After 27 Years

  • Putin Says Annexation Is Forever, Defends Ukraine Land Grab

Frances Townsend, who also serves as executive vice president of corporate affairs, leaves two years after taking her role. After Friday, she will become an adviser to the board and to the chief executive officer, Bobby Kotick.

"Fran did a truly exceptional job-actually four jobs-with continuously increasing responsibilities and the most exemplary work ethic," Kotick wrote in an email shared with Bloomberg News. "Fran also has done an extraordinary job enhancing the strong governance and compliance programs we have throughout the Company."

Jen Brewer, the senior vice president of ethics and compliance, and Luci Altman, the senior vice president of corporate governance, will fill Townsend's role. Brewer has been with the company for over a decade. The Wall Street Journal reported the move earlier Friday.

Townsend previously held positions as a counter-terrorism adviser to President George W. Bush's White House and as a general council for MacAndrews & Forbes. Shortly after taking the job at Activision, Townsend said she would focus on customer safety and the security of their personally identifying information. She also said she would look into loot boxes, a mechanic for obtaining in-game cosmetics that is sometimes likened to gambling.

In July 2021, shortly after a California state agency complaint alleged endemic sexism at Activision Blizzard, Townsend's response to the claims were roundly criticized. She described them in an internal letter as "factually incorrect, old, and out of context." Over 2,000 current and former employees of the company signed a letter calling Activision Blizzard leaders' response to the discrimination suit "abhorrent and insulting."

Kotick ultimately took responsibility for the incident, saying Townsend shouldn't be blamed. The company has since shifted to a more conciliatory tone, but she later stepped down from her role as the women's network sponsor at Activision Blizzard King.

(Updates with more on 2021 incident in final paragraph.)

Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek

  • The Unstoppable Dollar Is Wreaking Havoc Everywhere But America

  • Jay Powell Needs Investors to Lose Money

  • Twitter Is in This Mess Because Jack Dorsey Was Too Busy Being a Bitcoin Influencer

  • Would You Invest $10,000 in a Friend's Startup? Are You Friends If You Don't?

  • The World Sees Brazil's Election as a Climate Flashpoint. Brazilians Have Other Concerns

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Blue Apron to Cut 10% of Jobs as It Struggles to Stay Afloat
Blue Apron to Cut 10% of Jobs as It Struggles to Stay Afloat

(Bloomberg) -- Meal-delivery company Blue Apron Holdings Inc. said it's cutting about 10% of its corporate workforce - part of a plan to drastically reduce...

European Natural Gas Prices Surge as Winter Blast Stokes Demand
European Natural Gas Prices Surge as Winter Blast Stokes Demand

(Bloomberg) -- European natural gas prices fluctuated as record imports of liquefied natural gas helped to offset a blast of winter weather that is testing...

Swedish House Prices Drop Again as Market Woes Deepen
Swedish House Prices Drop Again as Market Woes Deepen

(Bloomberg) -- Swedish property prices deepened their decline in November, offering no respite for home owners as higher interest rates weaken a market...

Tesla to shorten Shanghai shifts, delay hiring - Bloomberg News
Tesla to shorten Shanghai shifts, delay hiring - Bloomberg News
  • US
  • 2022-12-08 11:49:09Z

The factory in China will shorten shifts by about two hours as early as Monday, the report added, citing sources familiar with the matter. Tesla's Shanghai ...

Ukraine Latest: Zelenskiy Warns of Prolonged Power Shutdowns
Ukraine Latest: Zelenskiy Warns of Prolonged Power Shutdowns

(Bloomberg) -- The European Union is set to boost the size of a fund to finance weapons for Ukraine by at least €2 billion ($2.1 billion) as early as next...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Business