Townsend, who has called the proceedings distorted and untrue, has resigned her position on paper, but it’s fair to say she’s moved upwards…
The Wall Street Journal has reported that Townsend is no longer working on paper for Activision Blizzard, where the former chief compliance officer is now hustling around the board as an advisor. She’s a divisive figure, having served as an Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism during the invasion of Iraq under US President George W. Bush in the early 2000s.
In 2004, the Washington Post reported that Townsend visited the notorious Abu Ghraib prison while the US military was ramping up the torture of those incarcerated there. According to the publication, an officer at the prison told US military investigators that Townsend pressured the head of Abu Ghraib’s Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center interrogation centre to extract more and better information from detainees. Townsend then denied it, saying she had not witnessed any abuse of prisoners during his deployment.
Then, in July 2021, shortly before the Activision Blizzard scandal broke, Townsend sent an email to employees responding to allegations against the publisher. According to him, the lawsuit filed against them by the California State Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) “presented a distorted and untrue picture of [Activision Blizzard], including factually incorrect, old, and out of context stories—some from more than a decade ago.” Following it, Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, took responsibility for the content of Townsend’s email. She moved to a post on a network for women within the company and deleted her Twitter because she received criticism after sharing an article critical of whistleblowers.
Bloomberg added that Kotick acknowledged Townsend’s work in another email. Her post will be taken over by her two deputies, Jen Brewer and Luci Altman, but what Kotick said about Townsend’s work seems like ostrich politics.