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Amid Workplace Tumult, Activision Blizzard Hires Disney, Delta Execs in Top Roles

The Hollywood Reporter logo The Hollywood Reporter 9/14/2021 Trilby Beresford

Activision Blizzard on Tuesday revealed the hiring of Julie Hodges and Sandeep Dube, who will take the positions of chief people officer and chief commercial officer, respectively.

The hirings come amid a tumultuous few months at the video game giant, as the California Department of Employment and Housing previously investigated claims of misconduct and in July filed a civil action against the Santa Monica-headquartered company for equal pay violations, sexual harassment and discrimination.

Additionally, Bloomberg reported a U.S. National Labor Relations Board complaint, filed by the Communications Workers of America union on Sept. 10, which accuses Activision of violating federal labor laws through coercive actions such as threatening employees that they cannot talk about wages and working conditions.

“These two outstanding leaders from companies with exceptional reputations will help us achieve our goal of becoming the best company to work for in the entertainment industry while growing our reach, engagement and player investment,” said Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, in a statement.

Hodges will be responsible for Activision’s global talent organization, leading all aspects of human resources; diversity, equity and inclusion; and workplace learning. Her background includes serving as a senior vp at The Walt Disney Co., where she was employed for 32 years.

“I share the company’s belief that a work environment should welcome all perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds,” Hodges said. “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.”

In August, Blizzard president J. Allen Brack departed the company, having served in the position since 2018.

Dube will oversee Activision’s global sales, and will be responsible for developing and implementing strategies for revenue growth. He previously served in a senior vp position at Delta Airlines, where he led revenue management, product strategy and commercial delivery.

“Our mission is to connect and engage the world through epic entertainment,” said Kotick. “While Sandeep connected the world through air travel at Delta, he created a growth-oriented culture that was focused on the very best customer experiences. The innovations he inspired created incredible customer loyalty. We are excited to continue our work on revenue growth with an even greater focus on recognizing and rewarding our players.”

Hodges will begin her role at Activision Blizzard on Sept. 21, while Dube will begin on Sept. 27.

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