Activision Blizzard recruits chief people officer

American video game holding company Activision Blizzard has hired Julie Hodges as chief people officer as part of a wider strategy to build a more inclusive workplace.

Her appointment, which becomes effective from today (21 September), comes just two months after the company was served with a lawsuit from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, alleging that it allowed a “pervasive frat boy workplace culture” to thrive and that women employees had been subjected to sexual harassment and were being paid less than men.

Hodges brings 30 years of experience in HR to her new role. She joins Activision Blizzard from Walt Disney Company, where she held the position of senior vice president of corporate HR and compensation, benefits and talent acquisition.

As part of her remit, she will take responsibility for all aspects of human resources, including diversity, equity and inclusion, talent acquisition, employee experience, learning and development, compensation and benefits and workforce planning. She replaces Claudine Naughton, who is leaving the company.

Bobby Kotick, chief executive officer, Activision Blizzard, said Hodges has “an exceptional reputation” and will play a key role in the organisation’s goal of becoming “the best company to work for in the entertainment industry.”

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He added: “I can’t think of a better person to join our team and help lead our ongoing commitment to an inclusive workplace. Julie is the seasoned leader we need to ensure we are the most inspiring, equitable and emulated entertainment company in the world.”

Hodges said she shared the company ethos that the workplace should welcome “all perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds.” She continued: “A workforce where everyone feels valued is critical to the success of our business, as is a trusting, engaging and safe environment that encourages creativity and innovation and in which all employees can thrive. It takes a collective effort to do this, and I’m looking forward to ensuring that we support the diversity of our talent to bring our people together and continue creating amazing entertainment.”