This year several cases of sexual harassment and discrimination were uncovered within Activision Blizzard. Bobby Kotick, CEO of the company, said he had no idea that this had happened; however, a new report points out that the reality is different.
According to an investigation by The Wall Street Journal, Kotick was aware of the harassment cases within Activision. In fact, he was also responsible for ignoring and minimizing the way female staff were being treated within the different studios of the company.
That’s not all: the investigation also ensures that several women claim to have been treated badly by the CEO of Activision Blizzard: “Over the years, Mr. Kotick has been accused by several women of misconduct, both within as outside the workplace and in some cases has worked to settle complaints quickly and quietly. “
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The report claims that, in 2006, Kotick allegedly threatened to kill one of his assistants. She also claims that in 2017 she told a flight attendant that she was going to “destroy” her after she sued him because the pilot of her private jet sexually harassed her.
That’s not all, as Kotick is also accused of ignoring an email sent in 2020 in which 30 women working in the Activision department reported sexual harassment by some Activision bosses. Activision Blizzard is also said to have ignored accusations against Javier Panameno, a former Sledgehammer Games supervisor and Dan Bunting, a former head of Treyarch, who were accused of committing sexual harassment against different women.
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Activision denies allegations against Kotick
Before this report, Activision Blizzard issued a statement. In it, they denied the accusations against Bobby Kotick, ensuring that the manager has worked to improve inclusion and a good work environment within Activision.
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“We are disappointed in the report of The Wall Street Journal, which presents an erroneous view of Activision Blizzard and our CEO. He acted on the Activision Blizzard cases reported to him. The WSJ it ignores the major changes to make this the most inclusive workplace in the industry and fails to take into account the efforts of thousands of employees who worked hard to live up to our values. The constant desire to be better has always been what sets this company apart.
This is why, under the direction of Mr. Kotick, we have made significant improvements, including a zero tolerance policy for inappropriate behavior. This is why we go forward with unwavering speed and resources to continue to increase diversity in the company and the industry, as well as to ensure that every employee who comes to work feels valued, safe, respected and inspired. We will not stop until we have the best workplace for our team, ”the statement said.
Activision Blizzard also claims that Kotick apologized to his assistant for the 2006 incident. They also denied that the manager threatened the flight attendant.
Employees call for Bobby Kotick’s resignation
This new report has caused a lot of noise throughout the gaming industry. Obviously the employees of Activison Blizzard have not turned a deaf ear to this situation and are already calling for the resignation of the manager.
On social media, Activision Blizzard employees are calling for Bobby Kotick’s resignation. They have been joined by members of other companies, as well as video game fans who want the company to be a safe place for everyone.
In addition to the complaints on social media, members of Activision Blizzard today plan to march in the offices as a form of protest.
“We will not be silenced until Bobby Kotick is replaced as CEO,” said ABK Worker Alliance, a group of Activision Blizzard employees who fight for the company.
We have instituted our own Zero Tolerance Policy. We will not be silenced until Bobby Kotick has been replaced as CEO, and continue to hold our original demand for Third-Party review by an employee-chosen source. We are staging a Walkout today. We welcome you to join us.
— ABetterABK 💙 ABK Workers Alliance (@ABetterABK) November 16, 2021
For its part, the Activision Blizzard board of directors assured that they trust Bobby Kotick’s leadership, commitment, as well as his ability to meet the company’s goals in terms of inclusion and the fight against harassment.
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