Activision Blizzard shareholders demand Bobby Kotick's resignation by end of year

Source: Thomas Hawk


A shareholders group representing interested parties with shares in Activision Blizzard have demanded the resignation of Bobby Kotick following a fresh wave of revelations that strongly suggests Kotick was aware of the problem as far back as at least 2017. The demand for his resignation came in the form of a letter sent to the board by the Strategic Organizing Center (SOC) Investment Group, who hold 4.8m shares in the company.


It is worth pointing out, before we go further, that the SOC’s shares represent less than 1% of the 779m available shares in the company, and this is not the first time they have made similar demands. Their most recent work in the area came earlier this year, when they attempted to organise large scale ‘vote-nos’ against the huge executive pay packages companies like Activision and EA handed out to their top employees. 


Their letter yesterday came on the back of an impromptu walkout staged by employees, that appears to have been triggered by the latest round of negative reporting on their company, and Kotick in particular. The revelations exposed this week have once again cast doubt on Kotick’s claims he was ignorant of the scale of the problem, as well as revealing the level of manipulative behaviour that has occurred as Activision Blizzard attempt to fight fires on multiple fronts.

Reset button on the board

In the letter, which was shared with the Washington Post, the shareholders group did not hold back when accusing Kotick of misleading the public. “In contrast to past company statements, CEO Bobby Kotick was aware of many incidents of sexual harassment, sexual assault and gender discrimination at Activision Blizzard, but failed either to ensure that the executives and managers responsible were terminated or to recognize and address the systematic nature of the company’s hostile workplace culture,” they wrote.


The group has also called for the resignation of the two longest-serving board members, Brian Kelly and Robert Morgado, who are chairman of the board and the company’s lead independent director respectively. So far the Activision board has only responded to say they remain confident in Kotick’s leadership, with shareholders threatening to attempt to lead a revolt at the next board elections if their demands are not met.


“After the new revelations, it’s clear that the current leadership repeatedly failed to uphold a safe workplace — a basic function of their job,” SOC executive director Dieter Waizenegger is quoted as saying in the Washington Post. “Activision Blizzard needs a new CEO, board chair, and lead independent director with the expertise, skill set and conviction to truly change the company’s culture. We need to really have a reset button on the board.”

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