Activision Blizzard CEO faces pressure from employees to resign after reporting

More than 100 Activision Blizzard employees held a walkout on Tuesday calling for Kotick to step down as CEO, according to the group that organized it. The walk responded to a The Wall Street Journal investigation published earlier in the day, which cites internal company documents and people familiar with the matter indicating that Kotick was aware of the problem for several years.
In one video messages to employees on Tuesday was copied and posted on the company’s website, Kotick claims that the Journal’s story “draws an inaccurate and misleading view of our company, of individuals me and my leadership.” He added that “anyone who doubts my belief in being the most inclusive and welcoming place to work, doesn’t really appreciate how important this is to me.”

While the report raised new tensions with some employees, Activision Blizzard’s board of directors reiterated their support for Kotick. “The board remains confident in Bobby Kotick’s leadership, commitment and ability” to address the company’s longstanding and ongoing problems of harassment and discrimination, it said. in a statement on Tuesday.

In a statement, the organizers behind the walk said: “The board will also be complicit if they let this slide. The time has passed for Bobby to step down.”

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Activision Blizzard (ATVI) – the company that owns hugely popular games such as “Call of Duty”, “World of Warcraft” and “Candy Crush” – has been embroiled in a scandal of discrimination and sexual harassment for months and is currently facing many threats. supervisory government agency.
ONE lawsuit filed in July by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing alleges a “twin brother” work culture where women are routinely subjected to discrimination and harassment. (The company told CNN at the time that it had addressed past misconduct and criticized the lawsuit as “inaccurate” and “distorted.”)
The lawsuit and the company’s initial response started a storm of disagreements from Activision Blizzard’s workforce, which eventually resulted in hundreds of employees. organize a walk at the company’s offices in Irvine, California. Kotick then admitted that the company’s initial response was a “deaf tone.”

The company is also facing a complaint from the National Labor Relations Board filed in September alleging unfair labor practices, as well as an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. which the company says it is working with. All of those actions are still pending, and Activision Blizzard said it “continues to cooperate effectively with regulatory authorities.”

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The company also paid $18 million to settle a separate lawsuit by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) accused them of sexually harassing female employees, retaliated against them for complaining about harassment, and paid female employees less than male employees. The company also “discriminated against employees because of their pregnancy,” the EEOC alleges.

In a statement accompanying the announcement of the EEOC settlement, Kotick said he remains “unwavering in my commitment to making Activision Blizzard one of the most inclusive, respected, and respected workplaces on the planet.” world.”

Kotick, who has been Activision’s CEO since 1991, including at the time of its 2008 merger with Blizzard, has been in damage control mode for most of this year.

Last month, he announce an intention cut him controversial $155 million pay package – one of the largest in the US – with “the lowest amount California law will allow” until the game company fixes its problems of sexism and harassment. If the board approves, Kotick will be paid $62,500, he said.


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