An internal e-mail to Activision Blizzard employees today from Activision executive Fran Townsend (who joined the company after working in the U.S Department of Homeland Security in the Bush administration) blames the State of California’s lawsuit for damaging the company culture, rather than alleged incidents of sexual harassment.
Axios’ Megan Farokhmanesh and Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier have both obtained the email, which runs directly counter to the internal; email that Blizzard J. Allen Brack sent to employees yesterday but seems more closely aligned with Activision Blizzard's public statement on the lawsuit.
“Everyone,” the letter starts, “As the Executive Sponsor of the ABK Employee Women’s Network and our Chief Compliance Officer, I wanted to reach out to you. I know this has been difficult for many of us. A recently filed lawsuit presented a distorted and untrue picture of our company, including factually incorrect, old, and out of context stories – some from more than a decade ago.”
The letter goes on to laud Activision’s efforts to improve diversity and provide equal opportunities to all employees regardless of background. In the close of the email, Townsend does slam the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing one more time, claiming that the lawsuit is “truly meritless and irresponsible,” and that Blizzard employees cannot let it “damage our culture of respect and equal opportunity for all employees.”
Schreier claims that the Blizzard employees he has spoken with are “fuming” over this letter. We’ve reached out to an Activision Blizzard representative to ask about the decision behind sending these dueling internal emails.
For full context, you find see Schreier’s Tweet sharing the full letter below:
Activision Blizzard executive Fran Townsend, who was the Homeland Security Advisor to George W. Bush from 2004-2007 and joined Activision in March, sent out a very different kind of email that has some Blizzard employees fuming. pic.twitter.com/BxGeMTuRYF— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) July 23, 2021