Classic leaves the studio after standing up to senior executives

These past few days, we’ve been talking a lot about huge waves of layoffs that are hitting a significant part of the tech industry. This new it’s not like that: here there are no job cuts or thousands of layoffs, but a single person who was fired for not wanting to blindly sacrifice members of his team. Today it’s time to talk about how Blizzard has fired Brian Birmmingham, World of Warcraft: Classic’s lead engineer.

It all started with a company policy that was established during 2021 and that has had more than one with a raised eyebrow. The call stack rank is a management order that obliges team leaders to give poor performance ratings to at least 5% of the workforce. Whether they deserve it or not, this, in theory, encourages those who do less to work harder, but it can have very negative consequences, such as receiving less money when distributing benefits, and even keep them from getting promotions long-term.

Birmingham was not only ordered to follow this practice, but told that I should keep it a secret, without telling anyone at Blizzard why they would get undeserved negative reviews. Given this, the chief engineer of the project decided that he did not want to be a part of this new Blizzard policy, threatening to leave if necessary. It seems that from above they have taken this very seriously.

As reported by the financial portal Bloomberg, World of Warcraft: Classic Lead Engineer Brian Brimmingham No Longer Works at Blizzard. When she said that she was going to leave the job to protest this measure, was directly fired by the video game studio. But why complain now when the measure was passed a couple of years ago?

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Apparently, from the upper echelons of the millionaire multinational they are getting tough with the stack ranking. Until now, the heads of each department were able to avoid this practice, even going so far as to try to put themselves those negative evaluations and spare them to the employees. Now, it seems that the excuses are over and the bosses want a strict follow-up.

As he himself has commented Birmingham through his personal Twitter accountIt seems that this comes from the ABK conglomerate (Activision Blizzard King), so the orders would originate even above Mike Ybarra, CEO of Blizzard. birmingham He has been blunt in his statements, saying that these practices are destroying the creativity of the team and allowing the company to steal money from employees. Meanwhile, he encourages other bosses to stand up as well, even though he is no longer with the company.