Activision Blizzard fires more people in a sexual harassment investigation

NEW YORK, January 17 (Reuters) – Activision Blizzard Inc (ATVI.O) said Monday that it has fired or pushed more than three dozen employees out and disciplined another 40 since July to address allegations of sexual harassment and other misconduct at the video game company.

After completing reviews, “37 employees have left the company, and a further 44 have received written reprimands, formal warnings or other discipline,” the company said, confirming a report in the Wall Street Journal.

The maker of the “Call of Duty” game said it was still working on a temporary update and had not yet notified staff.

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But Activision denied that CEO Bobby Kotick withheld a summary of the information scheduled for release “before the winter break,” the Journal reported.

“A temporary update is still being worked on for our employees and the company remains committed to continuing to provide periodic updates on its progress,” the company said in a statement to Reuters.

The entrance to Activision Blizzard Inc. campus will be shown in Irvine, California, USA, on August 6, 2019. REUTERS / Mike Blake

More than 90% of the reviews launched in 2021 are made from a mix of statements ranging from general complaints that could not be traded or suggested dishonesty, to a small number of allegations that could be serious, the company said.

Activision had collected about 700 reports of employees’ concerns about fraud and other problems since July, when a California state agency filed a lawsuit against the company for harassment claims, the Journal reported.

Activision challenged the number, but did not provide further context. “Although one case is one too many, there were not 700 reports of fraud,” a spokeswoman told Reuters.

Whether it’s a comment on culture, an event, or proposed improvements, every report the company receives is important, Activision said.

Activision said in October it had fired more than 20 employees after allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace, with 20 more people facing other forms of disciplinary action. Read more

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Reporting by Herbert Lash Editing by Paul Simao and David Gregorio

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