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Activision Blizzard workers are coming out and demanding the resignation of CEO Bobby Kotick


Activision Blizzard employees are calling for the resignation of CEO Bobby Kotick after new revelations about the role he may have played in creating a toxic workplace culture that plunged the company into controversy. On Tuesday, published a comprehensive report on Kotick’s handling of a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by California’s Employment (DFEH) against the publisher in July. In short, the publication claims that Kotick not only knew about many of the worst cases of abuse in the company, but in some cases may have also acted to protect employees accused of harassment.

“We have established our own zero tolerance policy,” Activision Blizzard A Better ABK Employee Representation Group on Twitter after the report was published. “We will not be silenced until Bobby Kotick is removed as CEO and we will continue to hold our original request for a third party review by sources selected by employees.” The group plans to hold a walk today.

The allegations he reported The Journal are extensive and numerous, but a handful stand out. According to documents issued by the house, Kotick wrote the now infamous Frances Townsend, executive vice president of corporate affairs at Activision Blizzard, sent to employees after DFEH filed the lawsuit. In that message, the company said that the complaint represents “a distorted and untrue image of our company, including factually incorrect, old and out of context stories – some from more than a decade ago.” The response angered many Blizzard employees, who said it was “.”

The report also provides insight into. A month after her, Blizzard’s first female leader reportedly sent an email to the company’s legal team in which she said she wasn’t convinced Activision Blizzard would change its culture. Looking back a moment earlier in her career at the company, she says in an email, “I was tokenized, marginalized and discriminated against.”

Elsewhere, the report describes an episode involving Dan Bunting, one of the heads of Activision’s Treyarch studio. In 2017, Bunting was allegedly accused of sexually harassing an employed woman. Following an internal investigation, Activision’s human resources department recommended that he be fired, but Kotick reportedly intervened to keep him in the company.

He was challenged by an Activision Blizzard spokesman The Magazine reporting. The complete statement of the company reads as follows:

We are disappointed with the Wall Street Journal report, which presents a misconception of Activision Blizzard and our CEO. Cases of sexual abuse brought to his attention were dealt with. The WSJ ignores the important changes that are underway to make this job in the industry the most acceptable and inclusive and does not take into account the efforts of thousands of employees who work hard every day to meet their – and our – values. The constant desire to be better has always set this company apart. Therefore, at the behest of Mr. Kotick, we have made significant improvements, including a policy of zero tolerance for inappropriate behavior. And that’s why we’re moving forward with unwavering focus, speed and resources to continue to increase diversity in our company and industry and to ensure that every employee comes to work with a sense of value, security, respect and inspiration. We won’t stop until we have the best job for our team.

The company also commented on the impending abandonment. “We are fully committed to fostering a safe, inclusive and rewarding environment for all our employees around the world. We support their right to express their opinions and concerns in a safe and respectful manner, without fear of retaliation,” Activision spokesman Blizzard told Engadget.

Amid unrest at Activision Blizzard, Kotick introduced himself as an ally of studio employees. “Our first responses to the problems we face together, as well as to your concerns, were, frankly, voiceless,” he said in a message he sent after Townsend’s message. In the same message, he claimed that he would take “quick action” to create a safe and inclusive work environment. When Kotick later announced the new company, he said he would undertake a major pay cut until Activision Blizzard’s board felt he had met the diversity and security goals he had set.

Even after today’s report, it’s hard to see Kotick resigning. He has been with Activision since the early 1990s and was the architect of the 2008 merger that created Activision Blizzard. The company’s board of directors also said it “remains confident” in its leadership.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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