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Activision Blizzard employees walk out over damning report against CEO

WSJ reports that Bobby Kotick knew about employee misconduct since 2018.

Activision Blizzard employees have walked out of their jobs after a damning report by The Wall Street Journal has suggested CEO Bobby Kotick knew about employee misconduct as far back as 2018.

The WSJ’s reporting suggests Kotick received notice of the alleged 2016 and 2017 rape of a Sledgehammer Games employee in July 2018. Further, it alleges that Kotick did not inform Activision Blizzard’s board of directors about the alleged rapes or an out-of-court settlement pertaining to them.

“We have instituted our own Zero Tolerance Policy,” the Activision Blizzard Workers Alliance said on Twitter.

“We will not be silenced until Bobby Kotick has been replaced as CEO, and continue to hold our original demand for Third-Party review by an employee-chosen source,” the statement continues. “We are staging a Walkout today. We welcome you to join us.”

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a complaint against Activision Blizzard in September, following allegations of sexual harrassment that surfaced earlier this year. Its filing follows a similar one by the Californian Department of Fair Employment and Housing back in July 2021.

Kotick said in October that Activision Blizzard would introduce a “new zero-tolerance harassment policy” while at the same time waived forced arbitration designed to handle discrimination and sexual harrassment complaints. The CEO also took a pay cut in the wake of the situation.

A statement from the Activision Blizzard board today says it stands behind the CEO.

“The Activision Blizzard Board remains commited to the goal of making Activision Blizzard the most welcoming and inclusive company in the industry. Under Bobby Kotick’s leadership the Company is already implementing industry leading changes,” a portion of the statement reads.

Social media is today awash with users using the #actiblizzwalkout hashtag and demanding Kotick resign.

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Steve Wright

Steve's the owner of this very site and an active games journalist for close to fifteen years. He's a Canadian-Australian gay gaming geek, ice hockey player and fan. Husband to Matt and cat dad to Wally and Quinn.