In an open-letter released on Thursday, over 1000 Activision Blizzard employees called for the removal of Bobby Kotick as the CEO of Activision Blizzard.
The full letter states: "We, the undersigned, no longer have confidence in the leadership of Bobby Kotick as the CEO of Activision Blizzard. The information that has come to light about his behaviors and practices in the running of our companies runs counter to the culture and integrity we require of our leadership--and directly conflicts with the initiatives started by our peers. We ask that Bobby Kotick remove himself as CEO of Activision Blizzard, and that shareholders be allowed to select the new CEO without the input of Bobby, who we are aware owns a substantial portion of the voting rights of the shareholders."
The letter is signed by numerous ABK employees across the various subsidiaries of the company, including Activision, Sledgehammer Games, Blizzard Entertainment, Raven Software, Infinity Ward, and more.
The letter follows the companies' board refusing in absolute terms to hold Bobby Kotick accountable for the allegations made against him in a report by the Wall Street Journal, published earlier this week. In that report, the WSJ revealed that Kotick allegedly knew about the sexual abuse happening in the company, but refused to do anything about it and did not report the abuse to the board.
The board held a vote of confidence in Kotick's leadership, while simultaneously toughing their "zero-tolerance" policy toward misconduct. According to a report from GameDeveloper, in an all-hands meeting this week, ABK said that the company's zero-tolerance policy would not apply to Kotick, despite the allegations of misconduct against him, with the companies reportedly claiming there they don't have any evidence of the claims against him since they happened over a decade ago.
In addition to sending the letter, hundreds of ABK employees staged a walkout this week at the ABK Irvine campus to protest the companies decision to keep Kotick as their leader, and to demand a third-party audit of the allegations of misconduct made against Kotick, which included him allegedly threatening to kill a former assistant.
While all of this is happening, Activision Blizzard stock has continued to slide, and is now down 30% on the year, as the company is still facing a massive lawsuit from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing alleging that the company has facilitated a culture of rampant sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and misconduct for over a decade.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.