Activision Blizzard’s CEO, Bobby Kotick, has reportedly known for years about allegations of sexual misconduct by the video game giant. On Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Kotick failed to inform the company’s board of directors of “everything he knew” about some incidents, including a settlement in 2018 with a former employee of one of Activision’s studios, who was allegedly raped by a supervisor.
A spokesman for Activision Blizzard said the report presented a misleading view of the company and its CEO, adding that “cases of sexual misconduct were brought to light. [Kotick’s] attention was traded. ”
Activision Blizzard – the game publisher behind popular franchises such as World of Warcraft, Diablo and Call of Duty – hasen The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing sued the company for its “frat boy” workplace culture, including incidents of alleged discrimination and harassment. In September, the US Equal Employment Opportunity accused the company of violating employees’ civil rights and exposing them to sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination and retaliation. Activision Blizzard quickly settled with EEOC for $ 18 million.
In the midst of unrest,from the company and more than 20 employees were fired after investigations into reports of harassment, discrimination or retaliation in the company.
In October, Activision Blizzard said that was it, including a new “zero tolerance” harassment policy and the abolition of the required arbitration of allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination. Kotick also said he would reduce his salary to $ 62,500 to ensure that “all available resources” were used to improve the workplace. Earlier this year, shareholders reportedly approved a $ 155 million salary package for Kotick.
After the Journal Report, a Activision Blizzard employee group said in a tweet that Kotick was to be replaced as CEO and that they planned to stage a walkout.
On Tuesday, Activision Blizzard reiterated that changes are underway to improve its workplace.
“The constant desire to get better has always separated this business,” the spokesman said. “And that’s why we’re moving forward with unwavering focus, speed and resources to continue to increase diversity across our company and industry and to ensure that every employee comes to work and feels valued, safe , respected and inspired. “