Activision Blizzard employees organized their second walkout this year on Tuesday, following the thorough report from Wall Street Journal published on Tuesday alleging that ABK CEO Bobby Kotick protected known abusers in the company, refused to inform shareholders of the abusers, and even reportedly threatened to have an employee killed.
In response to the article, employee advocate group A Better ABK stated: "We have instituted our own Zero Tolerance Policy. 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. We are staging a Walkout today. We welcome you to join us."
The organizers of the new walkout are demanding that Kotick be removed from his position and that an unbiased third-party review be implemented to investigate the claims in the article.
The walkout protest gained further steam after Activision Blizzard released a statement defending Kotick and unequivocally standing by him, while at the same time touting their "zero-tolerance" policy for misconduct. In addition to demanding Kotick's removal, some also called for the removal of CAO Brian Bulato and CCO Frances Townsend for their involvement in the companies alleged misconduct.
Numerous employees joined the protest, with some posting about it online. According to a report from Shannon Liao of the Washington Post, over 100 Employees walked out at Blizzard's Irvine campus, and many remote employees walked out as well.
In response to the walkout, Activision Blizzard told the Washington Post: “We are fully committed to fostering a safe, inclusive and rewarding environment for all of our employees around the world. We support their right to express their opinions and concerns in a safe and respectful manner, without fear of retaliation.”
All of this follows a year of scandals and revelations into Activision Blizzard's abusive and dangerous workplace. The California Department of Fair Housing and Employment filed a bombshell lawsuit over the summer against the company, alleging rampant sexism, gender discrimination, and violence against women in the workplace. The Federal government's EEOC filed their own suit and settled for 18 million dollars with ABK earlier this year, while the employees and investors have also filed various suits against the company as well.
Activision Blizzard employees staged their first walkout in July, to protest the company handling of the lawsuit and to make numerous demands on the company, including ending mandatory arbitration clauses, improving hiring practices, publishing compensation data, and creating a third-party audit of the company.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.