Saturday, 25 May 2024

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick Addresses Concerns and Outlines Action Plan

Activision CEO Bobby Kotick has released a letter to his employees in response to an upcoming walkout and concerns regarding work conditions. The walkout is part of a wider effort by employees to address issues of gender discrimination and sexual harassment following a lawsuit filed against Activision Blizzard by the state of California.

Kotick’s letter, obtained by Game Informer, acknowledges that it has been a challenging and distressing week for the company. He agrees with the community’s criticism of the initial response from Activision Blizzard, stating that it was “tone deaf” and underscoring the importance of recognizing and respecting the perspectives and experiences of those who have been mistreated. Kotick expresses regret for not providing the right level of empathy and understanding.

In the letter, Kotick outlines a plan of action to address the concerns raised. One of the key steps is enlisting the help of an external law firm called WilmerHale. This firm will conduct an investigation into the company’s current policies to promote a healthy and inclusive workplace. Given the serious nature of the allegations, this investigation will undoubtedly face significant challenges.

Kotick also provides contact information for Stephanie Avakian, a Director at the United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement. Employees who have felt uncomfortable at Activision Blizzard are encouraged to use this contact information in conjunction with the ongoing investigation.

In response to the lawsuit, Kotick lists several actionable items:

  1. Employee Support: The company will thoroughly investigate each claim and take decisive action. Additional senior staff and resources will be added to both the Compliance team and the Employee Relations team to strengthen their capabilities in addressing these issues.
  2. Listening Sessions: Safe spaces, moderated by third parties, will be created for employees to voice their ideas and suggestions for improving the company’s culture.
  3. Personnel Changes: Managers and leaders throughout the company will be evaluated to ensure the integrity of the processes for evaluating claims and imposing appropriate consequences. Those found to have impeded the integrity will be terminated.
  4. Hiring Practices: Hiring managers will be reminded to cultivate diverse candidate slates for all open positions, and compliance resources will be added to monitor adherence to this directive.
  5. In-game Changes: Feedback from both employees and players has prompted a review of in-game content. Content deemed inappropriate will be removed.

The letter concludes with a message of support for the employees and a commitment to creating a welcoming, comfortable, and safe work culture. For more information about the harassment lawsuit, please refer to our previous coverage on our website.

FAQs

Q: What is the purpose of the walkout at Activision Blizzard?
A: The walkout is part of an effort by employees to address concerns and improve work conditions following allegations of gender discrimination and sexual harassment.

Q: What steps is Activision Blizzard taking in response to the lawsuit?
A: Activision Blizzard has outlined an action plan that includes conducting an external investigation into current policies, creating safe spaces for employees to share ideas, evaluating managers and leaders, monitoring hiring practices, and reviewing and removing inappropriate in-game content.

Q: How can employees provide feedback or report discomfort to Activision Blizzard?
A: Stephanie Avakian of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement can be reached using the provided contact information.

Conclusion

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick acknowledges the concerns raised by employees and the community and expresses regret for the initial response. He outlines a detailed plan of action to address these concerns, including an external investigation and various initiatives to improve the company’s culture and workplace. The company is committed to fostering a welcoming, comfortable, and safe environment for its employees.