Activision’s Controversial CCO Steps Down Ahead of Microsoft Deal

According to an email from Bobby Kotick, Frances Townsend, the top compliance officer at Activision Blizzard, has left the organisation.

Bloomberg reports that Townsend has made the decision to resign before Microsoft’s rumoured $70 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Townsend will serve as a senior advisor to the company’s board and CEO Bobby Kotick after her resignation.

Townsend joined Activision Blizzard in March 2021 as executive vice president for corporate affairs and chief compliance officer after serving as President George W. Bush’s assistant for Homeland Security and counterterrorism. Among other corporate duties, she was responsible for managing Activision Blizzard’s communications.

Image: Activision

The DEFH case against Activision Blizzard, which accused the business of failing to adequately respond to claims of harassment and discrimination, however, led to Townsend coming under scrutiny.

She allegedly issued an email to the entire firm in which she referred to the lawsuit as “really meritless and reckless” and said that it “gave a skewed and inaccurate picture of our company, including factually wrong, old, and out of context tales.” Her remarks, which were included in Activision Blizzard’s hostile response to the lawsuit, influenced workers to stage a walkout in opposition to the company’s working conditions and a lack of faith in its management.

Later, Townsend came under fire for tweeting “the problem with whistleblowing” and including a link to an Atlantic article on the matter while doing so via her Twitter account. Townsend apparently started barring Activision Blizzard employees on Twitter after receiving a barrage of messages, and she later removed her account.

Townsend’s departure would undoubtedly appease those firm stakeholders who were displeased with her actions. Since the resignation’s cause is yet unknown, we’ll let you know as soon as we learn more.

Muhammad Zuhair
Passionate about technology and gaming content, Zuhair focuses on analysing information and then presenting it to the audience.
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