Blizzard Lead Leaves Company Due to Toxic Appraisal System

Policy forces bottom-most performers to compete with each other in the most toxic ways possible.

A manager at Blizzard has recently announced his departure from the company in protest regarding its appraisal system which he describes to be toxic. This was the ‘stack ranking’ method of evaluating staff and he says he was forced to give some employees poorer grades.

Blizzard Lead Forced to Give Lower Scores

Media outlet Bloomberg reports that Brian Birmingham, a lead software engineer at Blizzard for 17 years, was the one who left the company due to the stack ranking method of evaluating staff. According to the report, this method would require managers to grade staff on a curve. This made them give low scores to around 5 percent of employees. These individuals would not be given profit-sharing bonus money and would be less likely to be given a chance for a promotion.

Brian Birmingham

Birmingham revealed that he was enforced to lower an employee’s rating from “successful” to “developing” just to meet a quota. This made him choose to resign instead.

“Squeeze” the Bottom-Most Performers

According to an email sent by Birmingham to the media outlet, when they asked the team leads for the reason for doing this, the World of Warcraft directors explained that it was to “squeeze the bottom-most performers as a way to make sure everybody continues to grow.” The directors clarified that they did not agree with the method but it seems they just made it happen anyway.

Birmingham reveals that this policy would encourage the employees to compete with each other and sabotage each other’s work. This would just make them lose trust in each other and destroy creativity.

Surprised by Published Article

In a new tweet from Birmingham himself, he claims that Bloomberg has actually not contacted him about the Blizzard situation and did not provide the email that they are quoting from. He does clarify that the quotes on it are all accurate, he was just surprised where the outlet got the source from.

Bloomberg has not responded to reveal where they got their sources from.