Report: Bobby Kotick is aware of Activision Blizzard’s history of sexual misconduct, and employees go out and ask him to resign

Activision Blizzard spent In recent months, he has been embroiled in a series of state and federal lawsuits regarding allegations of his toxic work culture. The controversy mainly stems from Blizzard, especially due to the numerous stories of how the studio cultivated a “fraternity” culture that is hostile to women and marginalized employees, as well as claims of sexual abuse and gender pay gaps. Activision CEO Bobby Kotic initially downplayed these claims, saying that he didn’t know many of them before promising the company would do better, and even cut his salary to a “minimum wage” of $62,500 until Achieve “transformation goals”.However, A report Depend on Wall Street Journal Other stories of employee misconduct are revealed, and there is evidence that Kotick is not only aware of these disputes, but has not yet informed the Activision Board of Directors of some of these disputes. The report also stated that Kotic has been accused of abusing women for many years.

We strongly recommend that you read A report by the Wall Street Journal (But there is a pay area) or writer Ben Fritz’s Twitter post Highlight its core details. Trigger warning Because their stories and ours both mentioned sexual assault including rape.

Wall Street JournalThe report revealed misconduct in Activision’s studios Treyarch and Sledgehammer Games. In this article, evidence from internal documents, memos, and interviews with people close to the situation revealed several examples. It is reported that Kotick has been aware of these issues and did not notify the Activision board of directors, but chose to resolve these issues as soon as possible. And as quiet as possible.

One example is the allegation against Dan Bunting, the co-director of Treyarch. Bunting, who helped lead the production of multiple Call of Duty games, was accused of sexual harassment by a female employee after drinking one night in 2017.According to reports Wall Street JournalAccording to a source familiar with the situation, an internal investigation in 2019 concluded that Bunting was recommended to be fired until Kotick intervened on his behalf, allowing him to stay in the company during the consultation period. Polygon The report says Bunting resigned from Treyarch today Rear Wall Street JournalThe report was published.

In addition, according to internal information, former Sledgehammer employees have been prosecuted in the investigation of sexual misconduct. Wall Street Journal. A story cA supervisor allegedly raped a female employee in 2016 and 2017 because she forced her to drink alcohol during work activities. According to the victim’s lawyer, the current former employee reported the two cases to other leaders, Sledgehammer’s human resources department and the police, but there was no response. According to people familiar with the matter, Activision handled the perpetrator internally and apparently settled with the victim out of court, but Kotick again failed to report these allegations to the board of directors.

Wall Street Journal He also talked to sources and reviewed documents that show that Kotic has been accused of abusing women in and outside the workplace for many years. These allegations include the 2006 story of an assistant claiming that Kotick harassed her and left a voice mail threatening to kill her. Stewardess on a private jet in 2007 Co-owned by Kotick Said that she was fired by another pilot who owned the plane after he had sexually harassed her. Kotic settled these two things out of court.

Wall Street Journal It was also found that internal documents showed that Kotick was the person who wrote the controversial email (by Kotaku) Was sent to employees stating that the initial California lawsuit contained “in fact incorrect, outdated, and out-of-context stories.” According to sources, he ordered the controversial female senior manager and former Bush administration official Fran Townsend to send it to workers, where she was severely criticized by employees and fans on social media. Townsend later resigned as the head of the Activision Blizzard Women’s Network.

In addition, an internal email from Blizzard’s first female co-director Jen O’Neal, who announced her resignation earlier this month, showed that she lacked confidence in Activision’s leadership to correct her cultural problems. After former president J. Allen Brack resigned in August, O’Neill and former Bioware chief Mike Ybarra served as Blizzard’s co-leaders. O’Neill will leave Blizzard at the end of the year, which will enable Ybarra to lead the studio in full.

According to this report, Activision Blizzard’s employees have staged Impromptu strike Today, I also called on Kotick to resign as CEO. Washington post The statement included physical strikes and remote employees who refused to work. The group also requires that employees be allowed to entrust a third party to investigate the company. According to reports, the strike started at 12:00 PM Pacific time in front of Blizzard’s headquarters in Irvine, California, and it is estimated that more than 100 people participated. This marks the company’s second strike in just four months.

Activision’s board of directors has issued a response Wall Street Journals report, you can Read the full text here. It opens as follows:

“The Activision Blizzard board remains committed to making Activision Blizzard the most popular and inclusive company in the industry. Under the leadership of Bobby Kotick, the company has implemented industry-leading changes, including zero Tolerate harassment policies, work to significantly increase the proportion of women and non-binary people in our workforce, and make substantial internal and external investments to accelerate the creation of opportunities for diverse talents. The board still believes that Bobby Kotick has appropriately addressed it to his attention Workplace issues. The goals we set for ourselves are both important and ambitious. The board remains confident in Bobby Kotick’s leadership, commitment, and ability to achieve these goals.”

This is a developing story. We will keep you informed as more information becomes available.

[Sources: The Wall Street Journal, Polygon, KotakuThe Washington Post]


If any employee at Activision Blizzard or its many studios wants to work with Game informant For today’s report, to share their own stories, or to talk about what they would like to see within the company, you can contact the reporter of this article by email: [email protected] You can also contact Senior Associate Editor Blake Hester via email: [email protected] Hester can also be reached secretly through Signal.Message him directly Twitter Is his signal number. Game informant Any request can be guaranteed in exchange for the anonymity of the person who tells their story.