Report: Blizzard's Oneal only offered same pay as Ybarra following her resignation

Report: Blizzard's Oneal only offered same pay as Ybarra following her resignation

The former co-head of Blizzard Entertainment Jen Oneal has said that she was only offered the same compensation as Mike Ybarra after her resignation from the company.

That's according to Slack messages seen by IGN, in which fellow co-head Ybarra says that the reason he was being paid more than Oneal was because they were still working out their previous contracts. He insisted in a message to Blizzard staff that both him and Oneal made it clear they wanted to be paid the same amount, but this request was rejected.

In a subsequent message, Oneal, however, says that she was only offered the same pay as Ybarra after she had handed in her resignation. It was revealed that she was stepping down from her position in November.

“When Mike and I were placed in the same co-lead role, we went into the role with our previous compensation, which was not equivalent," Oneal wrote to staff.

"It remained that way for some time well after we made multiple rejected requests to change it to parity."

She continued: “While the company informed me before I tendered my resignation that they were working on a new proposal, we were made equivalent offers only after I tendered that resignation.”

Oneal and Ybarra were promoted to co-heads of Blizzard in August of this year after former president J. Allen Brack stepped down. This was in the wake of a lawsuit filed against Activision Blizzard by California's Department of Fair Employment that detailed a toxic working culture at the company.

Despite Oneal and Ybarra being promoted to lead the company in the wake of allegations of harassment and misconduct faced by minorities, including women, at Blizzard, word that Oneal was being paid less than her male counterpart emerged via a damning report from the Wall Street Journal. This expose also revealed that CEO Robert Kotick not only knew about abuse, harassment and misconduct at Activision Blizzard, he also hid this from the board and had also been accused of similar behaviour himself.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.