Activision Blizzard names Kristen Hines head of diversity, equity and inclusion

The appointment of Hines comes amid a host of legal troubles for the embattled company.

Activision Blizzard has appointed Kristen Hines as its new chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer. Previously, Hines served as the global lead for inclusion, diversity, and equity practice at Accenture, where she worked directly with organizations to create and grow their own DEI practices. 

Hines is coming to Activision Blizzard at a critical point. Over the last year, the company has been the target of many lawsuits and accusations of sexual harassment and discrimination. Public relations and legal troubles have compounded since the first suit was filed in 2021. A purchase by Microsoft has only complicated things further. 

Employees have spoken out time and again against company leadership that has allegedly allowed a toxic working environment to thrive. Workers have been seeking change at the company for months via walkouts and demands for the firing of CEO Bobby Kotick. 

By bringing Hines onboard, the company appears to be addressing the issue.

“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,” Hines said in a statement. “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.

Kristen Hines, chief DEI officer, Activision Blizzard
Kristen Hines, chief DEI officer, Activision Blizzard

“Gaming has amazing potential to connect communities around the world and showcase heroes from all backgrounds,” Hines continued. “I’m looking forward to playing a part in expanding the landscape of talent who brings these compelling experiences to a broad base of players.”

In a press release, Activision Blizzard described Hines’ role as one where she will “strengthen work underway with the company’s leadership team and its Employee Resource Groups to implement programs and policies that foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace environment.”

She’ll also collaborate with development teams to ensure that the games include diverse and inclusive perspectives throughout their stories, characters, and communities. 

Activision Blizzard’s most recent reports show that women only represent less than a quarter of all employees at 24%. Minority groups make up only 40% of all employees. 

Hopefully Hines will be able to get those numbers up to the company's 50% goal sooner than the five year timeline currently stated. It will also be interesting to see if Hines’ presence can affect the kind of stories and characters we see in future Activision Blizzard King titles.

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News Writer

David Carcasole is a freelance games journalist whose work has appeared in GamesIndustry.Biz, [lock-on], Into the Spine, and others. Find him on Twitter @SlyBowser, where he’s likely pining for the days when PS Vita games were still in development.