Frances Townsend, Activision Blizzard’s Chief Compliance Officer, who was previously criticized for her actions following news of the company’s sexual harassment lawsuit, has stepped down from her role at the company and will now serve as an advisor to the board and CEO Bobby Kotick.
As Bloomberg reports, Townsend has decided to step down from the $68.7 billion deal that will see Microsoft take over Activision Blizzard and its many iconic franchises, including Call of Duty, Warcraft, Overwatch, Diablo, and more, acquires.
As noted, Townsend has been criticized by Activision Blizzard employees and others for their actions following the public disclosure of the lawsuit filed against Activision Blizzard alleging allegations of “brotherhood culture” and sexual harassment.
After news of the lawsuit broke, Townsend called the allegations “distorted” and “false.” While saying that her testimony was “made according to counsel’s instructions and that the end result didn’t sound much like her voice anymore,” she then tweeted a link to an article titled “The Problem With Whistleblowing” in her personal social network Following these events, Townsend stepped down as executive sponsor of the ABK Women’s Network.
Townsend also served as executive vice president of corporate affairs for two years prior to her decision to leave the company.
“Fran has done a truly exceptional job – four jobs actually – with ever-increasing responsibility and the most exemplary work ethic,” Kotick wrote in an email provided to Bloomberg News. “Fran has also done an exceptional job of enhancing the strong governance and compliance programs that we have across the business.”
Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Timeline: The Story So Far