Activision-Blizzard CEO Comments on Allegations And Lawsuit
Activision-Blizzard CEO Robert “Bobby” Kotick has issued an official statement regarding the alleged sexual harassment allegations against the giant publisher.
In an official statement posted on Activision-Blizzard’s website, addressed to all employees, Kotick admits that their first response to the allegations – and the class-action lawsuit against the company over a toxic work culture – was tone-deaf.
“It is imperative that we acknowledge all perspectives and experiences and respect the feelings of those who have been mistreated in any way. I am sorry that we did not provide the right empathy and understanding,” states Kotick.
Kotick was apologetic throughout most of the statement, noting that the company will begin taking “swift action to be the compassionate, caring company you came to work for” towards his employees.
Kotick also noted that the company’s law firm, WilmerHale, will conduct a review of current company policies and procedures to promote “a respectful and inclusive workplace.”
Along with the review by WilmerHale, Kotick also provided a list of other support options for Activision-Blizzard employees, including updating hiring practices, creating listening sessions and safe spaces within the company, and fostering more employee support by adding more resources to the companies internal Compliance team and Employee Relations team. They will also be updating in-game content in areas that it has been deemed inappropriate following feedback from employees, and players. This has begun with an announcement of World of Warcraft changes coming.
One of the biggest promises by Kotick is an immediate evaluation of all managers and leaders across the whole company. Per Kotick, anyone who is “found to have impeded the integrity of our processes for evaluating claims and imposing appropriate consequences will be terminated.”
Kotick’s statements come after news that hundreds of company employees will be staging a walkout on July 28th, 2021. Many members of the company have also printed a list of demands ahead of the walkout tomorrow, including an end to mandatory arbitration clauses, and adopting new hiring and promotion policies to create a more diverse workforce.
It is unknown if Kotick’s statements will lead to widespread changes across Activision-Blizzard, as at this time both the boycott and the lawsuit are still ongoing.