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Activision Blizzard appoints new diversity chief

Kotick wants to be "most welcoming and inclusive company" in games.

Kristen Hines has been named as the new chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer at embattled publisher Activision Blizzard.

Hines' appointment comes after a year of damaging headlines which have shone light on Activision Blizzard's company culture, including numerous allegations of misconduct and abuse.

Controversial Activision Blizzard boss Bobby Kotick - who remains in place, at least while the company's sale to Microsoft is finalised - welcomed Hines' hiring today.

Kristen Hines.

"Activision Blizzard has ambitious goals to become the most welcoming and inclusive company in the gaming industry," Kotick said. "We have already made significant progress ensuring the safety and well-being of our employees, and we are excited to have Kristen join our leadership team to help drive even greater improvement.

"Kristen's success leading complex transformation with measurable results makes her the right person to ensure we deliver on our diversity, equity and inclusion commitments and build a model workplace aligned with our values."

The scope of Hines' role is extremely broad - from ensuring progress in hiring and workplace environment initiatives, to leading the effort to reflect diversity in Activision Blizzard's games. This will include game design, storylines, character development and community interactions.

"I'm excited to join a company that is prioritising its commitment to DEI and making progress on the ambitious goals it has set for itself," Hines said today. "In an industry with historical underrepresentation, I'm looking forward to leading the company's efforts to further build a workplace that values transparency, equity, and inclusivity."

Last week, Activision Blizzard announced it would convert all temporary testers to full-time workers with benefits - but not those who were currently attempting to unionise. Fresh employee concern has also recently been sparked by the company's decision to drop its vaccine mandate.
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Tom Phillips

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Tom is Eurogamer's deputy editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon.

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