Activision Blizzard Employees Finish With CEO Bobby Kotick

Many top Activision Blizzard employees resigned or released of the company following the DFEH complaint and follow-up investigations. Others are directly linked to the allegations, including its former chief technology officer Ben Kilgore and former lead developers of Diablo 4 and World of Warcraft. Company president J. Allen Brack, who told DFEH was aware of the harassment complaints, also resigned.

“Previously, we didn’t ask anyone to resign,” said a Blizzard employee who was involved in the walkout. “We believe in the ability to fix it and people can learn and grow.” But after the bombshell report was published on Wall Street Journal Tuesday, the employee continued, for Kotick “There is a belief that integrity is not there to allow learning and growth.”

The report says Kotick wrongly represented his knowledge of the depth and breadth of allegations of wrongdoing to executives and board members of Activision Blizzard. The board was reportedly blinded to the California DFEH complaint this summer, despite the department’s investigation that lasted two years. “Some departing employees accused of misconduct were praised for coming out, while their co -workers were asked to remain silent about matters,” the Journal reports.

the Wall Street Journal also reported several accusations involving the CEO himself. Kotick allegedly harassed an aide in 2006, including saying in a voicemail that he would kill her. A spokesman for Kotick said he apologized at the time and regretted his tone. In 2007, a flight attendant on a private jet he owned sued Kotick after he was fired for complaining about the pilot’s alleged sexual harassment. He negotiated with the servant and paid him $ 200,000, according to Journal. A Kotick spokesman denied there was retaliation.

In a statement, Activision Blizzard denied the Wall Street Journal report and said it presented “a misleading view of Activision Blizzard and our CEO…. The WSJ ignored the significant changes made to make it the most welcoming and inclusive workplace in the industry and it failed. to account for the efforts of thousands of employees who work every day to achieve their – and our – values.

Kotick himself also sent a video message to employees on Tuesday, in which he said the report “paints an inaccurate and misleading view of our company, me personally, and my leadership.” He added, “Anyone who doubts my conviction to be the most hospitable, attached workplace has never been grateful for how important it is to me.” Kotick added that the company is pursuing “a new policy of zero tolerance for inappropriate behavior – and zero means zero. Any offensive behavior is never acceptable.” An Activision Blizzard spokesperson told WIRED that the company had no further comment.

“I don’t know that anyone I know at the company really thought that Bobby Kotick and his goons during the Trump era had the greatest interest in employees,” said a current Blizzard employee who asked to remain unrecognizable for fear of side effects. (Chief compliance officer Frances Townsend worked as Homeland Security Advisor to president George W. Bush and chief administration officer Brian Bulatao worked with the Trump administration.)

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