Activision Blizzard employees are urging CEO Bobby Kotick to resign

Bobby Kotick

Bobby Kotick
Photo: Drew Angerer (Getty Images)

Earlier this year, the massive video game company Activision Blizzard was the publisher behind it Call Of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch– was sued by California Department of Fair Employment And Housing to allegedly create an environment of discrimination and harassment of female employees. Then the proverbial locks opened with amazing new claims are coming out, employees stage a strike, and Blizzard President J. Allen Brack resigns.

Now things are getting even worse for Activision Blizzard, as allegations of dishonesty against the company have bubbled up for CEO Bobby Kotick – famously or notoriously one of the highest paid executives across the country. According to Wall Street Journal, Kotick knew not only about the allegations against the Blizzard half of the company years ago, but that they also extend to the Activision half (the two companies merged a while back).

That WSJ The story contains new allegations, including one from a former employee of Activision’s subsidiary Sledgehammer Games, who said she was raped by a supervisor “after she was pressured to consume too much alcohol in the office and at work events.” Activision settled with her out of court, but Kotick has reportedly not disclosed any of that information to the company’s board of directors and has claimed over the past few months that he “was not aware of many of the allegations of misconduct” that have been raised.

Dan Bunting, co-head of Treyarch (one of the most important studies in the cycle of developers doing Call Of Duty each year), has also been accused of sexual harassment by an employee, with the company’s human resources department allegedly recommending that he be fired following an internal investigation in 2019. WSJ The story goes that Kotick himself “intervened to keep him” and made him go through counseling instead.

Also revealed by Wall Street Journal: The new Blizzard co-head Jennifer Oneal, who was promoted after Brack resigned, will also leave – after only a few months in her position – because she realized that “the company would never prioritize our people in the right way.” She also said she had been “tokenized, marginalized and discriminated against” on Activision, referring to an Activision party she attended with Kotick in 2007, where “scantily clad women danced on stripper bars” and “a DJ encouraged female participants to to drink more. the men wanted better. “

Activision and Kotick have said they are making an effort to change the culture of the company, but that WSJ The story goes that it has been given conflicting information about how deeply involved Kotick is in the culture of Activision Blizzard. Either way, the new information has been so thoroughly directed at him that employees of the company held out once again today and began demanding that Kotick resign from his position.

It is according to Washington Post, who also says that Kotick today shared a video statement with employees in which he condemned WSJ history as “an inaccurate and misleading view of our company, of me personally and my leadership,” adds “anyone who doubts my belief in being the most accommodating, inclusive workplace does not really understand how important this is to me. “

Meanwhile, Activision Blizzard’s board has released a statement saying it is still “confident of Bobby Kotick’s management.”


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