Activision Blizzard has appointed Kristen Hines as its new chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer.
Hines, who will report into chief people officer Julie Hodges, will join the company and its senior leadership team on April 25.
She will play a leading role in delivering on Activision Blizzard’s commitment to grow the number of women and non-binary people in its workforce by 50 percent over the next five years.
Activision Blizzard said Hines will also work across all its gaming teams “to ensure diverse and inclusive perspectives are included in game design, including storylines, character development, gameplay and community interaction”.
Hines is joining Activision Blizzard from Accenture, where she was a managing director leading the company’s global inclusion, diversity and equity practice. She also advised clients on large-scale change within operating models, organisation design, HR strategy and employee experience.
“I’m excited to join a company that is prioritizing its commitment to DEI and making progress on the ambitious goals it has set for itself,” she said. “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.
“Gaming has amazing potential to connect communities around the world and showcase heroes from all backgrounds. I am looking forward to playing a part in expanding the landscape of talent who brings these compelling experiences to a broad base of players.”
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick added: “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 Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and Candy Crush publisher recently said it’s having problems attracting new employees and retaining existing ones, and that its recruitment struggles are likely to be exacerbated by ongoing litigation and bad press.
In March, a federal court judge said she would approve Activision Blizzard’s $18 million settlement of a sexual harassment lawsuit filed last year by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing is also suing Activision Blizzard over its alleged failure to handle sexual harassment and discrimination against female employees.
It was announced in January that Microsoft intends to purchase Activision Blizzard in a $68.7 billion deal – the game industry’s biggest ever by some distance.
Microsoft hopes to complete the deal in the first half of 2023, subject to closing conditions and the completion of a regulatory review. The US Federal Trade Commission is handling an antitrust review of the deal to determine whether the takeover would give Xbox an unfair competitive advantage.