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Former Blizzard lead calls out Activision Blizzard's "toxic" appraisal system

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Former Blizzard Entertainment lead software engineer, Brian Birmingham, left the studio after almost two decades in protest over a "toxic" stack-ranking policy that forces managers to hand some employees an unjust appraisal in order to meet a minimum quota.

Birmingham shared the reasoning for his departure online in response to a Bloomberg article, with that report suggesting he left the company after refusing to give a low evaluation to an employee that didn't deserve one purely so he could meet the demands of a stack-ranking system implemented by Blizzard parent company Activision Blizzard King (ABK).

The article states that managers across the company are expected to hand around 5 percent of their workers a "developing" evaluation via the system, which could prevent them from receiving raises or promotions in the near future, while also lowering their profit-sharing bonus.

Bloomberg, which claims to have seen an internal email sent to staff by Birmingham, said the Blizzard veteran refused to work until the company removed the policy, and suggested he may even step down in protest. "This sort of policy encourages competition between employees, sabotage of one another’s work, a desire for people to find low-performing teams that they can be the best-performing worker on, and ultimately erodes trust and destroys creativity," reads the email. "If this policy can be reversed, perhaps my Blizzard can still be saved, and if so I would love to continue working there,” Birmingham wrote. “If this policy cannot be reversed, then the Blizzard Entertainment I want to work for doesn’t exist anymore, and I’ll have to find somewhere else to work."After Bloomberg published its report, Birmingham shared more details on Twitter in a bid

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