Activision Blizzard’s CEO Bobby Kotick will likely remain in place for the time being. Even after a damning report from the WSJ revealed that he was fully aware of the abuse and discrimination running rampant in the company. That same report even showed that Kotick intervened to protect some alleged abusers from being terminated. Hundreds of employees have joined calls for the CEO to be removed, owing to a lack of ability to protect employees.
According to GameDeveloper, Activision Blizzard’s leadership announced an internal ruling that has angered many employees. The complete apathy from Kotick and the C-suite comes after Kotick introduced a zero-tolerance policy for workplace abuses last month. In a letter addressed to all employees, Kotick laid out what he apparently felt needed to change. The company said it would commit to immediate termination of any alleged abusers. It would seem that the C-suite is making itself immune to that policy.
Activision Blizzard’s board of directors has so far chosen to keep Kotick in place. The response will likely grow more rebellious from employees if they continue this path. But it seems the shareholders remain resolute in their conviction to not give a crap about employees’ safety and concerns. The plan to ignore employee concerns was announced during an all-hands meeting at the company this week.
“The Board remains confident in Bobby Kotick’s leadership, commitment and ability” to address the company’s longstanding and ongoing issues with harassment and discrimination, it said in a statement Tuesday.
As a result of all this, the company is stuck in a time of pure strife. Hundreds of employees have already pushed for Kotick’s resignation, and signed a petition demanding such. Some of those same employees also staged another walkout in protest.
The petition laid out some of the complaints, and made it clear that this is just going to get worse for the tone-deaf leadership. “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 petition added.
The response to this petition and other criticisms came almost immediately. An Activision Blizzard spokesperson said in response to the petition that the company was “fully committed to fostering a safe, inclusive and rewarding environment” for the thousands of people who work there. This response would almost be laughable in any other circumstance, but the breadth of the issues at Activision Blizzard says otherwise.