Just hours after a damning Wall Street Journal report and the announcement of another employee walkout at the company, the Activision Blizzard board of directors released a statement expressing their support for CEO Bobby Kotick.
Despite the revelations from the WSJ report — including allegations that Kotick knew about sexual harassment cases within the company and in some cases even defended accused employees — the board’s statement is categorical in its support of the CEO. It cites “industry leading changes” allegedly implemented under Kotick’s leadership, such as a “zero tolerance harassment policy” and a commitment to diversifying the company’s workforce, and affirms confidence that Kotick “appropriately addressed workplace issues brought to his attention.”
This would seem to fly in the face of the claims of today’s WSJ report, which claimed that Kotick had not informed the board of significant harassment and discrimination issues of which he was aware and had even been the offending party in a couple of the cases. The move from the board of directors is likely designed to deflect the criticism and try and save face without having to suffer the upheaval of disciplining or even replacing the CEO, but employees and consumers alike are unlikely to be mollified while they continue to drag their feet.
For their part, the ABK Workers Alliance have unambiguously called for the removal of Kotick as CEO, and an update from Kotaku reports that over 100 employees have gathered outside Blizzard headquarters in Irvine, CA, to make their demand in person.