Activision Blizzard staff protest CEO’s apathy towards misconduct complaints

Employees of the game maker virtually and physically signed off or walked out of work on November 16

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Hundreds of employees at game making company, Activision Blizzard, signed out or walked out in protest when they learnt that their CEO had been aware of various harassment and misconduct cases, including a rape allegation, but had chosen to not share them with the board of directors and other stakeholders.

The California-based gaming company, which is known for its ‘Call of Duty’, has been in the news lately for its toxic work culture and because of the allegations of harassment and sexual misconduct. It is facing a lawsuit too, and now it has come to light that Bobby Kotick, CEO, Activision Blizzard, had known all along about the misconduct cases, but had not conveyed the severity and seriousness of it all to the board.

The Company was sued by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) in July, following a two-year investigation into the allegation of a ‘frat boy culture’ being prevalent within. Of those executives named in the lawsuit, and accused of being in the know of harassment and misconduct complaints for years, Allen Brack, the then president, Activision Blizzard, had quit his position in August, while Kotick continued to play CEO.

The Company also faced a suit filed by shareholders in August, following which it had agreed to shell out $18 million to settle the matter with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in September.

However, the board of directors seems to be in support of Kotick and expresses confidence in him, maintaining that he would have handled the complaints brought to his notice in the best possible way.

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