Despite a Wall Street Journal investigation detailing Kotick’s history of harassment and abusive conduct, as well as claims that he knew about allegations and episodes of abuse within the firm for years, Bobby Kotick remains the CEO of Activision Blizzard.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Kotick has informed executives that if the business can’t repair its poisonous work climate “quickly,” he may consider stepping down. Last week, Kotick met with executives from Activision Publishing and Blizzard Entertainment, according to sources close to the matter.
Executives expressed concern about Kotick’s standing as CEO, saying that some staff will not be “happy” until he resigns. Over the discussion, Kotick apparently expressed contrition for his previous actions and how he handled harassment during his 30-year tenure at the firm.
Employees asked if Activision Blizzard’s zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment would apply to Kotick at meetings conducted by the company’s senior management and human resource managers last week, according to the article. According to the WSJ, some participants specifically inquired if Kotick would resign.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Activision is considering forming a “workplace quality committee” in response to claims of a hostile workplace. The group is designed to assist improve Activision Blizzard’s workplace culture, but according to the Wall Street Journal, the corporation has no plans to probe Kotick’s actions.
Even after learning of Kotick’s alleged abusive behavior, the gaming giant’s board of directors expressed confidence in his leadership last week, saying they are “confident in Bobby Kotick’s leadership, dedication, and ability to achieve these goals.” “We do not feel their comments of reaction sufficiently handle the matter,” PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan told staff, according to Bloomberg. Microsoft is “examining all areas of our partnership with Activision Blizzard and making continuous proactive improvements,” according to Bloomberg.
Since July, when the state of California sued it for a culture of “continuous sexual harassment,” among other things, Activision Blizzard has been engaged in scandal. Employees have walked out twice since then, and more than 1,500 have signed a petition to fire Kotick. Several prominent executives have departed the corporation, including former Blizzard president J. Allen Brack.
Employees later complained that the message failed “to address crucial factors at the heart of employee concerns,” such as compulsory arbitration, in a letter published by Kotick in July (which finally ended last month).
Jen Oneal, who took over as Blizzard’s co-lead when the studio’s leadership switched in the aftermath of the lawsuit, stepped down after only three months. Oneal was paid less than her male colleague, according to the WSJ story, and she complained to the company’s legal team that she had been “tokenized, marginalized, and discriminated against” in an email. According to IGN, Oneal informed staff that Activision Blizzard only granted her equal salary after she resigned.