Activision Blizzard employees launch petition urging CEO to resign

Activision Blizzard employees launch petition urging CEO to resign

Greater than 1,330 employees at online game maker Activision Blizzard have signed a petition calling for the resignation of longtime CEO Bobby Kotick, who has been accused of ignoring complaints of alleged sexual harassment from feminine employees.

Among the many signers are recreation animators, artists, designers and testers throughout the Activision, Blizzard and King divisions. The employees mentioned in an announcement Friday that they not trust in Kotick and that his alleged mishandling of sexual harassment instances runs “counter to the culture and integrity we require of our leadership,” the employees mentioned.

“We ask that Bobby Kotick remove himself as CEO of Activision Blizzard and that shareholders be allowed to select the new CEO without the input of Bobby, who we are aware owns a substantial portion of the voting rights of the shareholders,” the employees mentioned within the petition.

The push for Kotick’s removing gained steam after a Wall Avenue Journal article this week claimed he had been conscious of alleged incidents — together with stories of rape — involving Activision employees however didn’t disclose them to the corporate’s board of administrators or to shareholders. 

Some activist shareholders are additionally pushing for Kotick’s ouster. In a letter on Wednesday, they mentioned Kotick should step down and requested Activision’s board of administrators to begin looking for a substitute “immediately.”

Kotick and the corporate have dismissed the claims within the Journal article, which Activision mentioned was deceptive in a statement on Tuesday. 

Kotick despatched a video message to employees this week addressing the article. In it, the manager credited employees of the corporate with pushing to enhance its office tradition. 

“The second thing I want to say is that anyone who doubts my conviction to be the most welcoming, inclusive workplace doesn’t really appreciate how important this is to me,” Kotick additionally mentioned within the video. 

Activision is understood for creating the favored video video games Name of Responsibility and World of Warcraft. The corporate started as two separate entities — Activision and Blizzard — that joined forces throughout a 2008 merger with now-defunct Vivendi Video games, the previous mother or father firm of Blizzard. The corporate has about 9,500 employees worldwide, 20% of that are ladies.

Kotick, 58, served as CEO for Activision between February 1991 and July 2008. In 2008, he grew to become the CEO of the newly shaped firm, known as Activision Blizzard.

The controversy surrounding Activision began in July when the California Division of Honest Employment and Housing mentioned {that a} two-year investigation by the company had discovered proof that firm leaders had ignored sexual harassment instances. The company, also referred to as DFEH, additionally filed a lawsuit towards the corporate, which is headquartered in Santa Monica.

Since then, the U.S. Equal Employment Alternative Fee has additionally filed a swimsuit towards Activision, which the corporate settled in July after agreeing to create an $18 million fund to compensate employees who had been harassed or discriminated towards. The Securities and Trade Fee in September opened a probe into how the corporate dealt with and disclosed sexual harassment complaints. 

For now, Activision’s board nonetheless seems to support Kotick, saying in an announcement on Tuesday that beneath his management “the company is already implementing industry leading changes including a zero tolerance harassment policy.”

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