Amid yesterday’s high-profile allegations that CEO Bobby Kotick had “been aware” of the abuse at Activision Blizzard for “years”, additional reports surfaced that former Blizzard co-boss Jennifer Oneal wanted to resign in part because of problems including lower pay than hers male counterpart Mike Ybarra. Ybarra has now told Blizzard employees that he and Oneal have jointly asked for equal pay, but Oneal says she was only offered an equivalent contract after she resigned.
Yesterday, Ybarra responded to allegations in internal messages that were separately confirmed by several Blizzard employees. The messages, the screenshots of which were viewed by IGN, were posted on a public Slack channel and forwarded to Blizzard employees.
“Hi Blizzard, please take a look at the email I sent this morning. I know that many leaders plan to meet with their teams later in the day. This is a difficult time for all of us, me included. I was asked to make it clear: Jen and I told management that we wanted to get the same salary to run Blizzard together, “Ybarra wrote.
“As a manager, I am 100% behind equality in the broadest sense. As a team, I share our desire for change and growth. I am committed to promoting this with all of you in order to make Blizzard what we all want I will be broadcasting a video to all of Blizzard shortly. Thank you very much and know I’m working on today’s news – and struggling in areas like many of you. “
When another employee expressed confusion about why leadership would decline the request from Blizzard’s two co-leads, Ybarra added additional context to his comments. “Jen and I both had existing contracts. I ran [Battle.net & Online Products] and she ran [Vicarious Visions] So our pay was different. When Jen and I were first offered a new contract, it was the same for both of us for the new co-leader of the Blizzard roles, so our compensation was the same. “
Ybarra’s response appears to be an attempt to explain part of the Wall Street Journal’s earlier report that Oneal allegedly sent a letter to Activision Blizzard’s legal department a month after its acquisition claiming that it was paying less during the process was “tokenized, marginalized and discriminated” as Ybarra. Oneal submitted her resignation earlier this month, shocking many employees who she viewed as a positive force within the company.
However, Oneal apparently tried to clarify the situation further, adding details that Ybarra had not mentioned. In other conversations noted by IGN, Oneal responded vigorously to Ybarra’s comments, saying she did not want to participate in any “debate” about Slack and that she received an offer only after she had resigned.
“When Mike and I got the same co-lead role, we went into the role with our previous pay that was not equivalent. This stayed that way for some time after we made several denied requests to change parity, ”she wrote. It remains unclear why Activision Blizzard rejected these requests.
She continued, “Although the company informed me that they were working on a new offer before I quit, we were only given offers of equal value after I have submitted this resignation. “(Emphasis placed on Oneals)
Activision Blizzard Trial Timeline: The Story So Far