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Former Activision Blizzard lead Jen Oneal was paid less than her male counterpart – report

After being promoted to head of the company in the wake of the sexual harassment scandal at Activision Blizzard, Jennifer Oneal was not given equal pay to her male counterpart.

New reports suggest that Jen Oneal, Activision Blizzard's former co-lead who stepped down from being head of the company after three months, was only offered pay parity with fellow (male) co-lead Mike Ybarra after she resigned from the company.

Per new reports from IGN that shine a light on some of Oneal's internal communications, the outgoing studio head says she was offered an equal contract only after resigning from the role – not an ideal look when Activision Blizzard is currently mired in sexual harrassment and discrimination lawsuits.

"Jen and I shared with management that we wanted to be paid the same to co-lead Blizzard together," Ybarra said in Slack message visible to Blizzard employees, a screenshot of which was shared with IGN.

"Jen and I were both on existing contracts. I ran [Battle.net] and she ran [Vicarious Visions] so our pay was different. The first time both Jen and I were offered a new contract, it was the same across both of us for the new co-leader of Blizzard roles, so our compensation was going to be the same."

Oneal adds that both she and Ybarra had made multiple requests for pay parity when they were promoted to company heads, and they were apparently rejected by the company.

"When Mike and I were placed in the same co-lead role, we went into the role with our previous compensation, which was not equivalent," Oneal wrote. "It remained that way for some time well after we made multiple rejected requests to change it to parity.

This follows yet more explosive revelations that have emerged from the company over the past few days, the most damning of which states that Activsion CEO Bobby Kotick reportedly knew about allegations against the company for years.

These new updates are the latest in a string of Activision Blizzard controversies that have been exposed in the wake of reports the company fostered a toxic culture. These allegations came to light due to a lawsuit brought on by the state of California over bullying, harassment, and sexism in the workplace.

To combat future issues at the company, Actvision has plans to take on workplace abuse and improve its hiring practices.

An employee group for Activision Blizzard King workers, A Better ABK, has staged a walkout in protest to the new allegations, and has called for Kotick's resignation.

About the Author

Dom Peppiatt avatar

Dom Peppiatt


Dom is a veteran video games critic and consultant copywriter that has appeared in publications ranging from Daily Star to The Guardian. Passionate about games and the greater good they can achieve, you can usually find Dom listening to records, farting about in the kitchen, or playing Final Fantasy VIII (again).

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