The Wall Street Journal reported that CEO of Activision Blizzard Inc., Bobby Kotick, knew for years about sexual-misconduct allegations at the “videogame giant” he leads. This allegation is not news to fans of the games made by the company, or to former and current employees, some of whom took to social media to share their terrible experiences at the company.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Activision has been thrown into turmoil in recent months by multiple regulatory investigations into alleged sexual assaults and mistreatment of female employees dating back years. Mr. Kotick has told directors and other executives he wasn’t aware of many of the allegations of misconduct, and he has played down others. This information came from people familiar with the matter and internal documents.
Here is a significant paragraph from The Wall Street Journal:
Those documents, which include memos, emails and regulatory requests, and interviews with former employees and others familiar with the company, however, cast Mr. Kotick’s response in a different light. They show that he knew about allegations of employee misconduct in many parts of the company. He didn’t inform the board of directors about everything he knew, the interviews and documents show, even after regulators began investigating the incidents in 2018. Some departing employees who were accused of misconduct were praised on the way out, while their co-workers were asked to remain silent about the matters.
Today, employees at Activision Blizzard engaged in a second walkout, specifically asking for CEO Bobby Kotick to be replaced. The @ABetterABK Twitter welcomed people to join the walkout. It also called for CEO Bobby Kotick to be replaced. It also will continue to hold their original demand for third-party review by an employee-chosen source.
The Wall Street Journal article includes examples of alleged misconduct by Activision employees that have not previously been reported. I will leave it up to you to decide whether or not it is healthy for you to read those descriptions.
As someone who has spent a lot of time playing some of Blizzard’s games, I find it extremely troubling that the company continues to have a huge problem with sexual harassment and sexual assaults. Based on The Wall Street Journal article, it appears that CEO Bobby Kotick knew what was happening and intentionally allowed this type of behavior to continue. He should be removed from the company.