Bobby Kotick sent a letter to all Activision Blizzard employees on Tuesday in which he called the initial response from the company "tone deaf" and outlined several actions meant to make Activision Blizzard a safer and more inclusive environment.
"We are taking swift action to be the compassionate, caring company you came to work for and to ensure a safe environment," Kotick stated in his email. "There is no place anywhere at our Company for discrimination, harassment, or unequal treatment of any kind. We will do everything possible to make sure that together, we improve and build the kind of inclusive workplace that is essential to foster creativity and inspiration."
He went on to explain that he is hiring the law firm WilmerHale to conduct a review of Activision Blizzard's current policies and procedures. That review will be headed up by Stephanie Avakian, former Director of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission's Division of Enforcement. He also promised that "NO retaliation will be tolerated" against employees who share their experience with the law firm.
Additionally, Kotick announced the five "actions" that he claims will help lead toward "Long-lasting" change.
Read the full letter here.
The statement is the latest development in the Activision Blizzard lawsuit scandal. While Blizzard has stated they intend to "take action" to improve conditions, they have continued to avoid taking any public responsibility for the alleged actions highlighted by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing complaint. The company has also continued to insist that the best way forward is an internal handling of the situation.
Employees are hosting a walkout on Wednesday to stand in support of the lawsuit, and to denounce Blizzard's original statement on this matter, which discounted the allegations in their entirety and called the DFEH complaint "irresponsible." While Kotick apologized for that initial response, nothing in his letter changes the companies position that the allegations are false, or its intention to fight those claims in court.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.