Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick addresses harrassment lawsuit, commits to improvements

The statement outlines the need for improvement, which begins with a review of policies by an external company and includes five immediate actions.


Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has released an official statement that was originally sent to all employees of the company. The statement concerns the recent lawsuit filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. In the statement, Kotick apologises for not providing the “right empathy and understanding” and lays out five immediate actions the company is taking to improve the workplace.

activision blizzard ceo bobby kotick statement

The statement by Bobby Kotick was posted online on Activision’s investor page on July 27, 2021 and includes an apology, a review of the company’s policies, as well as five immediate actions the company will be taking to improve workplace safety. This statement comes a few days after it was reported that California is suing Activision Blizzard over sexual harassment and discrimination.

The actions, which are effective immediately, are as follows:

  1. Employee Support. We will continue to investigate each and every claim and will not hesitate to take decisive action. To strengthen our capabilities in this area we are adding additional senior staff and other resources to both the Compliance team and the Employee Relations team.
  2. Listening Sessions. We know many of you have inspired ideas on how to improve our culture. We will be creating safe spaces, moderated by third parties, for you to speak out and share areas for improvement.
  3. Personnel Changes. We are immediately evaluating managers and leaders across the Company. Anyone found to have impeded the integrity of our processes for evaluating claims and imposing appropriate consequences will be terminated.
  4. Hiring Practices. Earlier this year I sent an email requiring all hiring managers to ensure they have diverse candidate slates for all open positions. We will be adding compliance resources to ensure that our hiring managers are in fact adhering to this directive.
  5. In-game Changes. We have heard the input from employee and player communities that some of our in-game content is inappropriate. We are removing that content.

Of note is that those in management and leadership positions will be evaluated and those found to have “impeded the integrity” of Activision Blizzard’s processes for reporting claims and partaking in retaliation will be terminated.

These are all positive steps to address issues that appear to be deep-seeded within the company. While this is a great first step, no doubt more will be done over the coming days and months, especially as the employees band together to force improvement – as is being done with a planned walkout protest.

Shacknews will be sure to keep you updated as the situation with Activision Blizzard unfolds.

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From The Chatty
    • reply
      July 27, 2021 6:20 PM

      I saw “commits” and instantly added “seppuku”.

      in my mind

      never gonna happen

      • reply
        July 27, 2021 6:23 PM

        That'd require some sense of guilt or shame, and I've seen little evidence he has a functional grasp of those concepts.

      • DM7 legacy 10 years legacy 20 years
        July 27, 2021 6:35 PM

        The man made millions because of reasons? How does that help anyone I ask myself. :(

        • reply
          July 27, 2021 6:37 PM

          My mom was in an elevator with him once. Said he was very unimpressive.

      • reply
        July 27, 2021 8:19 PM

        Nah, they'll commit suduko.

    • reply
      July 27, 2021 7:11 PM

      The only way he does anything is because he's been threatened by the board who in-turn has been threatened by shareholders. Shareholders must fear stock will plummet if the chief executive doesn't offer quick action. It's the ONLY reason he would say/do anything.

      • reply
        July 28, 2021 2:06 AM

        Their stock dropped 9% after the walkout news so of course this is a heartfelt, sincere statement.

      • reply
        July 28, 2021 5:08 AM

        isn't that the only reasons CEOs/shareholders do anything?

    • reply
      July 28, 2021 3:33 AM

      Kotick will do what it will take to continue to make money. If that aligns with dealing with the problems in the company then he will do it but don't think he cares at all about anybody there.

    • reply
      July 28, 2021 5:47 AM

      ActBlizz shareholders are now also starting an investigation if company managers failed in their fiduciary duties under securities law as a result of the current lawsuit

      • reply
        July 28, 2021 5:48 AM


        • reply
          July 28, 2021 5:56 AM

          Basically, their stock took a hit (at least 9% down in just a few days), and if they were aware these problems were going on or this suit was about to land, they should have allayed fears and taken steps to mitigate it (to the stockholders, altruistically).

          • reply
            July 28, 2021 5:58 AM

            Or disclosed it as a risk in their risk section in their annual report

            • reply
              July 28, 2021 5:58 AM

              "we treat our female employees like crap, this might be a risk"

      • reply
        July 28, 2021 9:57 AM


        • reply
          July 28, 2021 10:18 AM

          or be handed a $50m golden parachute on his way out

          • reply
            July 28, 2021 10:33 AM

            I think if the prosecution wins the suit the board will expect his resignation. It's a pretty clear sign that leadership failed its employees and its shareholders.

            • reply
              July 28, 2021 10:53 AM

              seems easy enough to drag the suit on long enough for at least another $100m in yearly compensation for him

    • reply
      July 28, 2021 5:54 AM

      The employees really need a union there to watch dog these "improvements"

    • reply
      July 28, 2021 9:37 AM

      Employee response to his comments

    • reply
      July 28, 2021 9:42 AM

      For what it's worth, I'm seeing people leaving WoW in droves. My old retail guild is all playing New World or FFIV and my current TBC guild had a bunch of people quit because of this. Maybe they were already on the way out but the bad taste in the mouth this leaves was just the final straw for a lot of folks.

      I know that's anecdotal, but if I'm noticing it in my two small corners of the game I'm sure Blizzard execs are seeing it in the stats and shitting themselves.

      I doubt CoD WarZone bros are doing the same thing, but I could be wrong.

      • reply
        July 28, 2021 9:48 AM

        I don't know anything about CoD either, but the timing is certainly bad for their business in the WoW/Overwatch/Diablo lines. Those franchises seem sustained almost entirely by inertia at this point.

    • reply
      July 28, 2021 10:19 AM

      We all totally believe him right?

    • reply
      July 28, 2021 10:20 AM

      All those predictions of the next WoW killer when it was Blizzard who committed suicide,

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