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Activision Blizzard head of people Claudine Naughton is departing the company, with former Disney HR exec Julie Hodges taking her place.

Bryant Francis, Senior Editor

September 14, 2021

1 Min Read
A sign stating "Unaccountable Corporate bureaucrats are driving the best employees out of Activision Blizzard."

Activision Blizzard head of people Claudine Naughton is departing the company, with former Walt Disney Company HR executive Julie Hodges taking her place.

The announcement comes along with the news that Sandeep Dube is taking the role of Chief Commercial Officer. Dube previously worked at Delta Airlines.

An Activision Blizzard spokesperson told Axios gaming newsletter co-author Stephen Totilo that Naughton’s departure was not because of the lawsuit filed by California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing that alleged the company fostered a sexist and abusive “frat house” culture, particularly at Blizzard Entertainment.

The lawsuit’s implications do hang over Hodges’ hiring however. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick stated in a press release that Hodges’ role will be to “help lead our ongoing commitment to an inclusive workplace.”

Hodges herself stated that she “shares the company’s belief that a work environment should welcome all perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds,” and that “a workforce where everyone feels valued is critical to the success of our business.”

The operations of Activision Blizzard’s human resources team are a part of the State of California’s lawsuit against Activision Blizzard. The California DFEH recently amended its lawsuit to include accusations of incriminating activity by the HR department, including alleged document shredding.

Previously, Blizzard Entertainment senior people officer Jesse Meschuk was ousted from the company alongside former Blizzard president J. Allen Brack.

Naughton was a relatively recent hire for Activision Blizzard, having only joined the company in 2019, after many of the events discussed in the California DFEH’s lawsuit took place.

About the Author(s)

Bryant Francis

Senior Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Bryant Francis is a writer, journalist, and narrative designer based in Boston, MA. He currently writes for Game Developer, a leading B2B publication for the video game industry. His credits include Proxy Studios' upcoming 4X strategy game Zephon and Amplitude Studio's 2017 game Endless Space 2.

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