Hines will report to the video game studio’s Chief People Officer, Julie Hodges, and join the company’s senior leadership team.
In her new role, Hines will work with the company’s leadership and employee resource groups to create a diverse, equitable and inclusive work environment. She will collaborate with gaming teams to ensure diverse and inclusive perspectives are included in game design, including storylines, character development, gameplay and community interaction.
Her biggest task will be to execute Activision Blizzard’s commitment to increasing the percentage of women and non-binary people in its workforce from 24% to 50% over the next five years.
“I’m excited to join a company that is prioritizing its commitment to DEI and making progress on the ambitious goals it has set for itself,” Hines said in a press release. “In an industry with historical underrepresentation, I’m looking forward to leading the company’s efforts to further build a workplace that values transparency, equity, and inclusivity.”
Hines joins Activision Blizzard almost a year after it was rocked by a company-wide sexual harassment lawsuit that alleged discrimination and a “fratboy” culture. The lawsuit and its fallout led J. Allen Brack, the President of Blizzard Entertainment, to resign his post in August 2021.
In a progress update made a few months after the lawsuit Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said, “While we are working to address the various government investigations as promptly as possible, we will not avoid the inevitable media scrutiny that comes from these efforts. Our focus will be on improving our company, and of course, focusing on making great games for our hundreds of millions of players.”
A few months later, Microsoft announced a $69 billion deal to buy the gaming company. A Wall Street Journal report published alongside the news revealed that Kotick is slated to step down from his longtime leadership role in 2023.
“Activision Blizzard has ambitious goals to become the most welcoming and inclusive company in the gaming industry,” Kotick stated. “We have already made significant progress ensuring the safety and well-being of our employees, and we are excited to have Kristen join our leadership team to help drive even greater improvement.”