Blizzard Dismisses WoW Classic Co-Lead for Demonstrating Against Employee Ranking System

Brian Birmingham, co-lead of WoW Classic, was let go by Blizzard due to his opposition of their new worker rating system. Birmingham then took to Twitter to explain the incident and what had transpired in Blizzard before his dismissal.

Recent years have seen Activision Blizzard dealing with several legal cases as well as other issues, with the organization coming under increased public examination. Adding to this, Birmingham recently spoke out concerning the downsides of the employee ranking system currently in use by the company, pushing the controversy to a new level.

Blizzard Dismisses WoW Classic Co-Lead

Brian Birmingham, who had been with Blizzard for 17 years, made a confirmation on Twitter about his termination after the news was made public. He also wanted to give more insight into the difficulties Blizzard is currently encountering. The company introduced a ranking system in 2021, which would grade employees based on their performance. The lowest level in the system was labeled “Developing” and managers were supposed to assign this to 5% of their staff. This rank would lead to a reduction in the profit-sharing bonus, as well as make it challenging to get promoted or a raise. Birmingham refused to lower an employee’s status from “Successful” to “Developing” and expressed his dissatisfaction with the system in an email which eventually was released. His objection was soon followed by his termination.

Blizzard Dismisses Employee

Birmingham has denied that he was the source for the leak, yet has acknowledged that the excerpts that were posted were authentic. He believes that the fault of the ranking system lies not with Blizzard, but rather ABK, which is the new name of the organization following its acquisition of King in 2016. Birmingham has claimed that the ranking system was the result of all companies joining together in a standardized format, which he says Blizzard had challenged. He noted that it wasn’t until he was informed of the 5% quota in an email that he understood that the resistance had been unsuccessful.

Birmingham finished his thoughts with no animosity towards Blizzard, expressing that it would be advantageous to be able to come back and battle this system from within the organization. In actuality, he lauded all the work Blizzard has done, but he also stated that “I can’t be involved in a policy that permits ABK to take money from worthy employees, and I can’t be compelled to lie about it either.”

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