A brand new report within the Wall Street Journal says that Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick knew in regards to the sexual assault and abuse allegations on the firm however hid them from traders, and even faces some damning allegations himself, together with a menace to have certainly one of his assistants killed. In response to the Wall Street Journal report, members of the A Better ABK worker coalition at Activision Blizzard are staging a walkout right this moment, ceasing work and demanding that Kotick, together with Brian Bulato and Frances Townsend, resign from the corporate.
Two colleagues and I spent months reporting on allegations of sexual misconduct at Activision and what CEO Bobby Kotick knew and did about them. I hope you’ll learn the story we simply revealed. I’ll additionally thread key findings… https://t.co/QoTGrwLEbB
— Ben Fritz (@benfritz) November 16, 2021
The Wall Street Journal story comes after “months reporting on the allegations” at Activision Blizzard, focusing much more on the Activision facet, together with points at Call of Duty builders Sledgehammer and Treyarch. One anecdote talks a couple of girl who was raped in 2016 and 2017 by a male supervisor, after which the corporate reached an out-of-court settlement with the worker. Kotick failed to tell the board of administrators of the alleged rapes or ensuing settlement.
Details concerning Jennifer Oneal’s current promotion and subsequent resignation from Blizzard have been additionally revealed. Oneal reportedly despatched an e-mail shortly after her promotion to co-lead at Blizzard (which itself was a result of the original California lawsuit earlier this year which forced J. Allen Brack to resign) saying that she had a scarcity of religion in Activision Blizzard management. She recounted her personal experiences with sexual harassment and tokenization on the firm in years prior, and in addition revealed that she was paid lower than her male co-lead, Mike Ybarra. Yes, even after changing into co-lead following the lawsuit that alleged discrimination, Oneal was reportedly paid lower than her male counterpart in an equal management function. Oneal left the company earlier this month after just three months as Blizzard co-lead.
Co-head of Treyarch, Dan Bunting, was additionally named within the report. He was accused of sexually harassing a feminine worker in 2017. An inner investigation in 2019 advisable he be fired, however Kotick reportedly personally intervened to maintain Bunting on. He was “given counseling” and allowed to stay. An Activision spokeswoman advised WSJ that an out of doors investigation in 2020 led the corporate to resolve to not let Bunting go, however the Treyarch co-head reportedly left following the WSJ’s current inquiries into the matter.
In addition to a number of different experiences of discrimination and harassment—together with 30 girls in Activision esports who alleged harassment, assault, and exclusion—Kotick was proven to have a historical past of mistreating girls. Back in 2006, Kotick settled a dispute out of courtroom after an assistant complained of harassment, together with “threatening in a voice mail to have her killed.” The Activision spokeswoman mentioned that Kotick had already apologized for this “obviously hyperbolic and inappropriate voice mail.” The subsequent 12 months Kotick was sued by a flight attendant on a personal jet he co-owned. She had claimed that the pilot sexually harassed her, complained to the opposite unnamed co-owner, and was subsequently fired by Kotick. An arbitrator working on an motion associated to authorized charges on that case cited beneath sworn testimony that Kotick advised the flight attendant and her attorneys “I’m going to destroy you.”
Additionally, the Wall Street Journal report says that Activision Blizzard has obtained greater than 500 experiences because the California lawsuit was public, from present and former workers alleging a bunch of points starting from sexual assault, harassment, bullying, discrimination, and different points. This is despite recent and ongoing assurances from Kotick that he aims to make Activision Blizzard a safe and equal place to work. Kotick additionally recently lowered his own salary.
There has been a whirlwind response following the discharge of the Wall Street Journal report. Kotick issued a video to Activision Blizzard workers—in addition to an official assertion from Activision Blizzard concerning the article—stating that the article presents on “inaccurate and misleading view” of Kotick and the progress they are saying the corporate has made.
As Activision Blizzard inventory plummets this morning, the corporate is on the defensive. In an announcement to Bloomberg, a spokesperson says the WSJ “presents an inaccurate and misleading view” of the corporate and Kotick and “ignores important changes.” pic.twitter.com/i37g1U26pv
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) November 16, 2021
Members of the A Better ABK worker coalition have staged a walkout, each digital and in-person on the Irvine campus. The walkout requires Bobby Kotick to get replaced as CEO, and doubles down on their calls for for a much less biased third celebration to carry out the evaluate of Activision Blizzard’s inner insurance policies.
We have instituted our personal Zero Tolerance Policy. We is not going to be silenced till Bobby Kotick has been changed as CEO, and proceed to carry our authentic demand for Third-Party evaluate by an employee-chosen supply. We are staging a Walkout right this moment. We welcome you to hitch us.
— ABetterABK ABK Workers Alliance (@ABetterABK) November 16, 2021
The Activision Blizzard Board of Directors issued its personal assertion in response to the article, standing behind Kotick’s management on the firm, noting current progress they are saying Activision Blizzard has made beneath Kotick’s management.
In response to an explosive story reporting that Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick knew about numerous sexual misconduct and harassment allegations and was himself a perpetrator, and an worker walkout right this moment demanding Kotick’s resignation, the board says it’s standing by him pic.twitter.com/29q5M2VxIH
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) November 16, 2021
The Wall Street Journal rapidly shot again that “Nothing in Activision Blizzard’s statement challenges the facts in our reporting.”
The Wall Street Journal has responded to Bobby Kotick and Activision’s description of its article as deceptive: “Nothing in Activision Blizzard’s statement challenges the facts in our reporting.”
— Shannon Liao (@Shannon_Liao) November 16, 2021
This is simply the newest chapter in a narrative that started in earnest with the California lawsuit that was filed in opposition to Activision Blizzard earlier this 12 months. We’ll proceed to replace because it progresses.
[Source: Wall Street Journal]