In the wake of what can only be described as a PR nightmare for Riot Games, the League of Legends maker has hired its first chief diversity officer.
Announced via the firm's website, Angela Roseboro joins the LA-based game maker having held similar roles at companies including Dropbox, T.Rowe Price, Jones Lang LaSalle and Genworth Financial. Roseboro will be supervising diversity and inclusion-related activity in addition to kickstarting initiatives that will create a more inclusive workplace. This includes the company's hiring policies.
“I've had the opportunity to meet some incredible Rioters who are passionate about creating a culture where everyone thrives together," Roseboro said.
"I was so taken by the heart and soul of this company and—in spite of setbacks or hurdles—I'm excited to be part of this journey. I can't wait to get started and to do my part to make sure we have a culture that embraces the uniqueness of every Rioter and a community where everyone feels a sense of belonging.”
Chief people officer Emily Winkle added: “We’ve been searching for the right person to help us become a positive force for D&I in our industry and beyond, and I’m thrilled to welcome Angela to the team. I know I speak for the entire Riot leadership team when I say that we can’t wait for her to start. She brings with her experience and expertise that will allow us to truly blossom in our D&I efforts so we can recruit and retain the Rioters we need to make amazing things for players around the world.”
Roseboro is the first chief diversity officer that Riot has hired but is the second top tier specialist employed by the League of Legends firm to help fix its working culture. Frances Frei came on board in September 2018 to help the company change having done the same at transport application Uber.
This a scathing exposé from Kotaku into Riot Games' working culture, which was described as toxic and sexist. The company admitted that changes needed to be made, not denying any of the allegations made in the report.
Two weeks after the article, Riot said it was overhauling its working culture and at the start of 2019, the League of Legends firm unveiled a new set of company values. While progress has been made, there are still troubling instances of how Riot is dealing with some of the perpetrators of this environment. For example, COO Scott Gelb was suspended without pay after an investigation into workplace misconduct, which said that one of the company's top execs would, um, touch employees' testicles or butts and fart in their faces.
Riot is working hard to change its image across the board. We caught up with the company's UK head of esports Mo Fadl to discuss a new British League of Legends tournament that was designed to make pro-gaming a more inclusive and welcoming space than it has been historically.