The Blizzard scandal continues as employees staged a second walkout today in response to new information, appearing in a Wall Street Journal report, that paints Activision CEO Bobby Kotick as part of the problem.
Video games giant Blizzard’s reputation continues to plummet as disgruntled employees continued their protest of a toxic workplace culture that hid allegations of sexual harassment and rape to protect figures right at the top of the company. Activision CEO Bobby Kotick is the latest name to come under fire.
In a Wall Street Journal report, that takes into account months of coverage and private investigation, Bobby Kotick has been identified as having knowledge of various allegations regarding sexual harassment and misconduct, and failing to act in an appropriate manner.
It is further alleged that Kotick had knowledge of a rape allegation, along with its out-of-court settlement, and chose not to communicate this information to the company’s board of directors.
The report also sheds further light on the departure of ex-Blizzard leader Jen Oneal, who wrote in September: “It was clear that the company would never prioritize our people the right way… I have been tokenized, marginalized, and discriminated against.” This is despite initially stating that her decision to leave was “not because I am without hope for Blizzard.”
Bobby Kotick, who bought a 25% stake in Activision with his business partner Brian Kelly in 1990, has been CEO of Activision Blizzard since 2008.
BREAKING: Activision Blizzard employees say they're launching a walkout today in the wake of the Wall Street Journal article detailing CEO Bobby Kotick's knowledge of sexual misconduct and harassment at the company. They're demanding that Kotick be replaced
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) November 16, 2021
He was previously at the centre of another situation involving sexual harassment allegations in 2006. Kotick fired Cynthia Madvig from her role as a flight attendant after she accused the pilot of a private jet, which Kotick partially owned, of harassment. Kotick and the other defendants eventually settled the case for $200 000 plus Madvig’s full legal fees.
Kotick has released an official response to the Wall Street Journal article regarding the Blizzard scandal, defending himself by stating that “there’s an article today that paints an inaccurate and misleading view of our company, of me personally, and my leadership.”
He continued his defense by thanking his employees, many of whom are openly protesting the fact that he is still the company’s CEO:
“Thank you for your commitment to a culture of respect, your appreciation for the unique talents we each possess, and for maintaining the very best environment for all of us to work.”
Although I’m pretty sure his plans of “maintaining” the company’s environment are exactly why employees are staging walkouts in the first place.