Update 10/16/2021: Hundreds of ABK employees walked off the job on Tuesday to protest Kotick and the response from Activision Blizzard.
Original Article: Activision Blizzard released a statement in response to the Wall Street Journal report released on Tuesday that claimed CEO Bobby Kotick was aware of instances of sexual misconduct but chose to look the other way. In their statement, ABK denies all allegations that Kotick failed to act on information he already knew.
"We are disappointed in the Wall Street Journal’s report, which presents a misleading view of Activision Blizzard and our CEO," the company stated. "Instances of sexual misconduct that were brought to his attention were acted upon. The WSJ ignores important changes underway to make this the industry’s most welcoming and inclusive workplace and it fails to account for the efforts of thousands of employees who work hard every day to live up to their – and our - values."
ABK claimed that they have made "significant improvements" to their treatment of women and other marginalized people, including a "zero-tolerance policy for inappropriate conduct."
The statement comes in response to an extended report from WSJ that reported on the investigation from Kirsten Grind, Ben Fritz, and Sarah E. Needlemen who spoke with a female employee at Sledgehammer Games who alleged that she was attacked on multiple occasions by a superior at ABK after being pressured into drinking alcohol at office events.
According to WSJ, the employee reported these instances to both the police and the HR department. WSJ further claimed that Kotick was aware of the situation and its outcomes, but failed to report any of it to shareholders, though ABK denied this in the aforementioned statement. In their report, WSJ made numerous other allegations against Kotick and ABK as well.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.