As reported by the Wall Avenue Journal, Activision Blizzard chief compliance officer Frances Townsend has stepped down from her place. Whereas now not an worker of the corporate, she’s going to proceed to serve its board as an advisor. 

The move comes as Microsoft’s $68.7 billion acquisition of the corporate slowly works its strategy to completion, although not with out regulatory hurdles like a current problem from a UK watchdog.

Townsend was a controversial determine earlier than becoming a member of Activision Blizzard. Within the early 2000s, throughout the invasion of Iraq, she held the place of Assistant to the President for Homeland Safety and Counterterrorism underneath George W. Bush. 

The Washington Submit reported in 2004 that Townsend toured the notorious Abu Ghraib jail throughout the top of the US army’s torturing of prisoners on the facility. In response to the Submit, an officer on the jail advised US Military investigators that Townsend pressured him to extract extra and higher info from prisoners in his capability as head of the Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Heart at Abu Ghraib. Townsend, for her half, denied witnessing abuse of prisoners throughout her tour.

In July of 2021 near the outbreak of the Activision Blizzard controversy, Townsend emailed workers concerning the allegations in opposition to the corporate. She claimed the California Division of Honest Employment and Housing lawsuit “introduced a distorted and unfaithful image of [Activision Blizzard], together with factually incorrect, previous, and out of context tales⁠—some from greater than a decade in the past.”

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick subsequently assumed accountability for the content material of the offending e-mail. Townsend, nevertheless, stepped down from a place sponsoring a ladies’s community on the firm, and later deleted her Twitter after sparking controversy by sharing an article crucial of whistleblowers.

In response to Bloomberg, Bobby Kotick wrote in an e-mail that Townsend “did a really distinctive job” throughout her tenure. The WSJ experiences that Townsend’s former duties as ethics and compliance officer and company secretary are being assumed by her deputies Jen Brewer and Luci Altman respectively.