Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick is contemplating stepping down.
Last week, hundreds of Blizzard employees and supporters staged a walkout after the company's board voiced support for Kotick once it was revealed by The Wall Street Journal that the CEO had been aware of the harassment and sexual discrimination at Blizzard but kept on accused employees. Kotick was also accused of telling a female employee that he would "have her killed" in an email.
Activision employees signed a document that stated: "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."
Bobby Kotick responds to Blizzard employee walkout
A new report from The Wall Street Journal has now stated that Kotick told staff he would "think about the possibility" of leaving the company if he is unable to fix the company's workplace environment and problems "with speed." According to The Wall Street Journal, this was a statement Kotick made to senior managers on Friday, November 19.
The discussion was part of a "series of internal meetings" where Kotick and other executives talked about improving company culture. During the meeting, it was revealed that some employees would not be satisfied at the company unless Kotick left, with more than 1,700 Blizzard employees signing the above petition. In response, Kotick admitted he was "ashamed" of what took place under his leadership and his subsequent handling of the issues.
It seems as though Blizzard is unaware of a way to address employee concerns. The company has started tossing around the idea of a "workplace excellence committee." But the company has not addressed the accusations against Kotick, including threatening a woman. In fact, the board of directors still seems to be standing by Kotick, stating confidence in the leader.
The gaming community doesn't seem as confident. Activision Blizzard stock is down 30% from last year.
Read additional covering of Blizzard's ongoing discrimination lawsuit here.
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