Former Blizzard legal chief joins digital avatar company Genies
- Claire Hart announced her departure as video game maker Activision Blizzard faced SEC investigation
- Genies to Open New Market for NFTs
(Reuters) – The former chief lawyer for Blizzard Entertainment Inc has joined a Los Angeles-based avatar tech company poised to launch an online marketplace for digital products known as non-fungible tokens .
Genies Inc announced Monday that Claire Hart has joined the company as the first general counsel. Genies is partnering with Dapper Labs Inc, which helped launch Top Shot, the US National Basketball Association’s NFT Marketplace, to launch its own Marketplace where users can purchase digital items for their avatars. .
Genies represents “thousands of different celebrities as avatars,” said CEO and founder Akash Nigam, including musicians Cardi B, Justin Bieber and Shawn Mendes.
“We believe avatars are a new tool for showing new sides of your personality that photos, videos and text can’t justify,” said Nigam.
Nigam touted Hart’s strengths as a negotiator, saying “she’s going to be a good strong arm in a lot of these negotiations.” He added that Hart will have the discretion to hire more lawyers to work in-house or continue to bring in an outside lawyer.
“She will have the budget,” he said.
Hart left Blizzard in mid-September as video game maker and parent company Activision Blizzard Inc faced a close review of his workplace practices, including allegations of sex discrimination and harassment sexual.
She announced that she was leaving the same day Activision Blizzard said the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating her disclosures regarding employment matters and related issues. Hart has not been publicly linked to the harassment and bias allegations that have rocked Blizzard since July, when the California anti-discrimination agency first filed a complaint. Since then, the video game maker has seen a stream of high-profile departures.
A Blizzard spokesperson previously told Reuters that Hart had not left due to the SEC investigation.
Last week, Activision Blizzard and the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced that they had reached an agreement to resolve complaints of sexual harassment and discrimination in the company’s workplace.
The ongoing controversy at Blizzard hasn’t affected Genies’ idea of hiring Hart, Nigam said.
“We have followed a fully controlled process and we are very confident in our decision,” said Nigam.
Activision Blizzard and US employment watchdog reach agreement in sexual harassment and discrimination case
Blizzard loses best lawyer as federal regulators investigate video game giant
US Securities Regulator Investigates Activision Over Employment Issues
How a 10-second music video sold for $ 6.6 million