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Activision Blizzard's chief compliance officer steps down

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Activision Blizzard’s chief compliance officer, Frances Townsend, is stepping down.

Bloomberg reports that Townsend – who also serves as executive vice president of corporate affairs – will step down ahead of Microsoft’s billion pound deal to acquire Activision (if it goes through, of course).

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Townsend will, however, remain with the company as an advisor to the board and CEO Bobby Kotick, although his future at the company is also in doubt if and when the acquisition goes through.

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“Fran did a truly exceptional job – actually four jobs – with continuously increasing responsibilities and the most exemplary work ethic,” Kotick told Bloomberg. “Fran also has done an extraordinary job enhancing the strong governance and compliance programs we have throughout the company.”

Senior VP of ethics and compliance, Jen Brewer, will reportedly assume Townsend’s duties.

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Townsend stepped down from the company’s women’s network back in August 2021, the same day Townsend held a listening session on a recorded Zoom call with the women at Blizzard to hear their stories, following her heavily-criticised internal email that called the claims made by the State of California’s discrimination lawsuit “a distorted and untrue picture of our company”.

As Microsoft starts to feel more heat from regulatory bodies over its $69bn acquisition of Activision Blizzard, CEO Satya Nadella said he was “very confident” the deal will go through.

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