Activision Blizzard fired 37 employees over misconduct, but Bobby Kotick remains

The saga that is Activision Blizzard shows no signs of reaching a resolution, with the latest revelations being a series of internal documents discovered by the Wall Street Journal (paywall).

Said documents confirm that 37 employees have “exited” the company since July of last year in relation to sexual harassment and misconduct, with a further 44 being disciplined over their inappropriate behaviour.

Precisely what nature this discipline took is unclear, but if these employees were allowed to stay on thereafter, has anything really changed?

Perhaps the most damning of all the findings by the WSJ is the inaction taken by CEO Bobby Kotick, who refused to acknowledge an internal report which gathered the complaints of 700 employees over workplace misconduct, citing the negative optics that it would put Activision Blizzard in.

Given what has happened to date, the fact that Kotick does not want further evidence of the toxic culture that is rife at the company to come out, is rather telling.

For now it looks like the company’s spokespeople are on full damage control.

“Across Activision Blizzard, our team is working tirelessly so that every employee feels safe, equal, heard and empowered,” spokesperson Rich George told The Verge.

“Whether a comment about culture, an incident or suggested improvements, every single report that the company receives matters, and we have significantly increased the resources available to ensure that we can quickly and thoroughly look into each one,” he added.

George was also careful to note that Kotick’s refusal to acknowledge the aforementioned 700 employee complaints as inaccurate.

The CEO famously said in November of last year that he would step down from the company if the issues plaguing it were not resolved quickly. As we reach two months since those words were uttered, it remains to be seen if Kotick will indeed do the right thing and step down.

Given what has happened to date, we are less than optimistic.




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