A group of Activision Blizzard shareholders call for Bobby Kotick and board directors to resign
The pressure is mounting for Kotick and company.
After Activision Blizzard’s board gave Bobby Kotick a vote of confidence, even following a damning report from the Wall Street Journal and a walkout from its employees, a group of Activision Blizzard shareholders has called for the resignation of the CEO and several other executives, according to The Washington Post.
In a letter provided to the WP, the Strategic Organizing Center (SOC) Investment Group wrote, “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.”
The group of shareholders is also calling for the resignation of Brian Kelly and Robert Morgado, two of the board’s longest-serving members, and to do so by December 31. The group members also said that if Kotick, Kelly, and Morgado didn’t resign, they would not vote to reelect the current directors, as well as saying they would urge other shareholders not to do so either. The group also asked for Kelly and Morgado’s replacements to be diverse, requesting that at least one goes to an Activision Blizzard employee not currently an executive.
The WSJ report, released yesterday, claimed that Kotick was aware of several sexual harassment cases occurring at the company, in some instances even defending some of the accused employees. Over 100 employees walked out in response to the report, calling for Kotick to resign. However, Activision Blizzard’s board gave him a vote of confidence, indicating he would stay on as CEO. It was also revealed that former co-leader Jen Oneal didn’t receive equal pay to her male counterpart, Mike Ybarra, for the same role.
Currently, neither the board nor Kotick have publicly responded to the call from the group of shareholders, but considering the urgency of the situation, it’s likely they will soon.