The Rot of Riot Games Culture Starts at the Top

Riot in 2014 The games’ executive assistant at the time, Melanie McCracken, began to notice that her supervisor Jin Oh was not recruiting women into senior leadership positions. He said that women are usually employed as assistants. In a civil complaint filed in 2018, League of Legends Publisher. Oh, a manager at the company claimed that, according to the complaint, “being a man in such a role would feel awkward”. She was part of the female model that put women at a disadvantage based on their gender or gender.

McCracken started looking for a new job at Riot in September 2014 – ideally a job with more mobility. As McCracken tried to escape, he began to feel that Oh was creating a hostile work environment. According to the complaint, he went to human resources to report these allegations of retaliation and discrimination. Shortly after, McCracken found himself in a meeting with Oh to discuss the HR controversy, which he believed was confidential.

McCracken moved from Riot’s international zone to the North American zone in March 2015. Oh, he finally landed there as the new interim president. After his arrival at McCracken, he reads the complaint in 2016 that “a five-month countdown was given to find a new position or” get fired “. He went to the Internal Communications Department and Oh left Riot that year. (HR representative McCracken left the company in 2019.)

But in 2018, Riot CEO Nicolo Laurent hired Oh. The HR representative also rejoined the company and is now directing human resources into Oh’s department. Oh now has a very long title: Riot’s head of esports, marketing, publishing operations and international offices. None of his direct reports are women, except for his executive assistant. A Riot Games spokesperson said in a statement that “many high-level women” work at the broadcaster Oh led.

In the past two years, several women, most recently Sharon O’Donnell, former executive assistant to Riot CEO Nicolo Laurent, have come to the fore with allegations of gender-based discrimination and harassment at the company. Most of these court files – including a complaint from a former Riot employee not reported earlier than December – highlight that many executives work at Riot, despite numerous allegations of non-compliance, under Laurent’s supervision.

McCracken is one of eight women named in a potential class trial against Riot Games for alleged widespread gender discrimination. (McCracken has reached a compromise and is no longer part of this case. All but one have been brought to arbitration on the terms signed on employment.) Kotaku The report describes a work environment where dozens of current and former employees faced greater scrutiny in the recruiting process, less opportunities to advance than men, were talked about routinely at meetings, and were paid less than men in similar positions.

The “boys’ club” ethos at Riot has gone beyond employment practices. Sources interviewed Kotaku He said that male genitalia received unwanted pictures or were in emails or lists explaining his colleagues’ sexual interest in them. Sources said Scott Gelb, chief operating officer of Riot Games, who stayed with the company after a brief suspension and sensitivity training, would apparently jokingly grab the genitals of male employees and bury them in people’s faces. California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing and Labor Standards Enforcement is also exploring widespread gender discrimination at Riot Games.

Riot has strived to clear its ranks of problematic employees, deliver sensitivity training, and create more structured recruiting practices. Riot contracted Harvard Business School professor Frances Frei, brought in to fix Uber’s supposedly sexist culture, and created a diversity chief position within the company. As lower and mid-level employees feel the effects of the cultural change, two sources tell WIRED that Riot’s top leadership is closing ranks around some of the company’s most troubled employees, who headed the 2,500-person gaming company. They say Laurent is trying to retain and protect these employees.

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