According to a report from Bloomberg on Tuesday, Chacko Sonny, the executive producer of Overwatch 2, is leaving the company on Friday. A spokesperson from parent company Activision Blizzard confirmed his departure to Bloomberg.
Overwatch 2 overseeing executive is leaving Blizzard
Sonny’s withdrawal from the company is just another in a series of high profile exits from the Activision Blizzard upper ranks following the state of California’s lawsuit against the company for gender discrimination, and the subsequent Securities and Exchange Commission subpoena.
Blizzard president J. Allen Brack, who was mentioned in the lawsuit, left in August. In his place, Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra are serving as the organization’s co-leaders. Both Luis Barriga and Jesse McCree, the director and lead designers on Diablo respectively, also left in August alongside World of Warcraft designer Jonathan LeCraft. Claire Hart, a former Blizzard Entertainment lawyer, announced on LinkedIn that her last day at the company was September 17. Activision Blizzard Chief People Officer Claudine Naughton is planning to leave by the end of September, to be replaced by former Walt Disney Company senior vice president Julie Hodges.
Sonny was the head of development for both Overwatch and the upcoming Overwatch 2. In an email to Blizzard staff, reviewed by Bloomberg, Ybarra and Oneal said Sonny was a “thoughtful leader,” and that they were grateful for his service. At the time of writing, Sonny has not disclosed why he is leaving Blizzard in the middle of Overwatch 2 development. In a note he wrote to his colleagues there, though, he described it as “an absolute privilege and one of the best experiences of my career.” According to Bloomberg, the note from Sonny did not reference the State of California lawsuit or SEC probe.
According to Bloomberg’s anonymous sources within the company, Sonny was a stabilizing force for Overwatch after director Jeff Kaplan left Blizzard this past April, and that they weren’t aware of any allegations against him.
With Sonny’s departure, now two of Blizzard’s marquee franchises (Diablo and Overwatch 2) have had sizeable development team shifts. Despite this, a Blizzard spokesperson told Bloomberg that Overwatch 2 is “in the final stages of production” and that the company will share more details at an event later this month. Blizzard has yet to announce who will replace Sonny at the helm of Overwatch at the time of writing.