Certainly one of Activision-Blizzard’s prime executives stepped down as the corporate is within the midst of what’s prone to be the largest online game property acquisition in historical past. Frances Townsend, who served two years as govt vp of company affairs and chief compliance officer, vacated these positions on Friday.
Townsend has not utterly left the corporate, Bloomberg experiences, and she is going to now function an advisor to the corporate’s board of trustees and CEO Bobby Kotick. The official purpose for her choice to resign from her former positions has not been publicly said. .
This is not the primary time Townsend has hit the headlines. A former New York Metropolis legal professional, she got here below scrutiny final 12 months when she was introduced in as a supervisor in a sexual harassment investigation towards an organization worker, the Wall Road Journal reported. This lawsuit was settled out of courtroom for $18 million, however Townsend nonetheless confronted some public backlash. In keeping with the Washington Put up, at one level early within the information cycle, she publicly referred to as the worker’s claims “distorted” and “false” and shared a social media publish essential of the whistleblowers.
Previous to Activision-Blizzard, Townsend served below US President George W. Bush in a counterterrorism advisory position from 2003 to 2004. She was a controversial determine each in her time below President Bush and after him. As Kotaku identified, she has appeared on nationwide tv information applications because the Bush presidency, defending the administration-approved use of waterboarding, pressured stripping, and sleep deprivation towards terrorist suspects.
The Microsoft Xbox model is at present within the strategy of being acquired by Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion. If the deal goes by, it is going to be the biggest within the historical past of the gaming world and can see Microsoft purchase the rights to collection and franchises reminiscent of Warcraft, Name of Responsibility, Overwatch and Diablo, which may have a serious influence on the world. each improvement and exclusivity. By comparability, final 12 months Microsoft acquired ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion, which, if the deal between Blizzard and Activision is closed, can be the fourth costliest acquisition.
NEXT: How Microsoft’s Activision-Blizzard Deal Matches Into Different Studio Acquisitions