Some Activision Blizzard shareholders, affiliated with the SOC investment group, are demanding the resignation of Kotick as chairman, as well as the resignation of two board members. They warn that if that doesn't happen, they won't vote to extend the board's term in the next vote, which is in June 2022.
The chances that this declaration will change anything are slim. The SOC controls just 0.6% of the company's shares, and it's doubtful the group will be able to convince enough other shareholders of its case to force departures. The board has already responded to these demands, by the way, stating that Bobby Kotick still has their full confidence.
- According to the Wall Street Journal, Bobby Kotick was supposed to have hushed up sexual harassment cases at Activision Blizzard;
- Among the people he protected was the co-founder of Treyarch, who left the team when journalists began snooping around the issue;
- Activision Blizzard employees staged a protest demanding Kotick be fired;
- The chances of that happening are slim, however, as management has expressed support for the CEO and confidence in the changes he's making to address bullying and sexual harassment issues within the company.
The past few months have been full of endless scandals involving Activision Blizzard. The latest of these has exploded with an article by Wall Street Journal. It claims CEO Bobby Kotick allegedly knew that some of his subordinates were accused of sexual harassment. He also reportedly took steps to silence such cases.
One of the people Kotick protected was said to be Dan Bunting, the co-founder of Treyarch, who played a key role in creating the Call of Duty: Black Ops series. He was accused of inappropriate behavior towards one of the women working on the team, and an internal investigation confirmed these allegations. The investigators recommended that the guilty party be fired, but Kotick intervened and Bunting ended up with minor punishments. When Wall Street Journal editors began inquiring about the matter, Bunting quickly left Treyarch.
The article also made other accusations. Bobby Kotick allegedly threatened to kill a female subordinate. Also mentioned is the case of Jen Oneal, who left Blizzard Entertainment just a few months after being promoted to co-executive of the team. She was allegedly paid less than men in the same position, and one of the company's events allegedly featured women pole dancing.
In response to Wall Street Journal's article, a group of over a hundred Activision Blizzard employees walked off the job today and staged a protest outside the publisher's headquarters. Participants of the action demanded that Kotick be fired. However, the chances of this happening are practically zero. The company's board issued a statement in support of the current CEO and assurances that the changes he is introducing will effectively reduce the incidents of bullying and sexual harassment, and people who commit such acts will be quickly removed from the company.
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