Activision Blizzard shareholder group SOC calls executive response 'inadequate', lists demands

Shareholder group SOC called out Kotick for not going 'nearly far enough' to address recent allegations at Activision Blizzard.

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As the allegations of sexual harassment and toxic workplace culture have formed against Activision Blizzard, painting an intensely offensive picture of abuse at the company, many have agreed that the response out of top management there has been disappointing to say the least. With that in mind, one shareholder group of Activision Blizzard has issued a letter calling out the “inadequate response” and demanding a list of its own specific desired changes on top of the employee list of demands that was issued recently during a company walkout.

Investment group SOC executive director Dieter Waizeneggar shared the letter to Activision Blizzard, as reported by Axios. The letter hammers Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick and other executive management for measures that “do not go nearly far enough to address the deep and widespread issues with equity, inclusion, and human capital management at the company.” To that end, the letter lists demands that call of the dismissal of the WilmerHale firm and its company review, as well as the addition of female representation on the Board of Directors, specifically with a “history of advocacy for marginalized people and communities.”

The SOC group joins Activision Blizzard employees in their rejection of the company’s use of the WilmerHale firm. Publicized most notably as a union-busting firm utilized by Amazon, the use of WilmerHale was criticized by SOC for its lack of history in addressing company abuse, harassment, and discrimination. While SOC agrees a company-wide review is necessary, it sees Wilmer Hale as an ill-equipped for the situation because of its specialization in “corporate criminal defense and lobbying.” The group calls for an investigation with counsel featuring “more directly relevant” experience in the situation

SOC’s other demands include taking back bonuses from company employees who were found to have been engaging in harassment, abuse, and discrimination, as well the demand that no bonuses be awarded to executives for the current fiscal year, in consideration of “excessive” bonuses that were awarded in the past as this situation was ongoing.

It remains to be seen how Activision Blizzard responds to the new letter and demands, but it seems pretty clear that some shareholders share concerns with employees that Activision Blizzard is doing nothing near what it could to address the matter adequately. Stay tuned as we continue to follow the situation for further news and updates.

News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. When he's not handing out beatdowns in the latest fighting games, exploring video game history, or playing through RPGs with his partner, he's searching for new food and drinks in the constant pursuit of good times with good people inside and outside the South Texas area. You can also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

From The Chatty
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      August 10, 2021 12:16 PM

      More on the Activision Blizzard front: One of their larger shareholders, SOC Investment Group, send a letter that told the company their response has been inadequet and gave a list of what they need to fix. Some of the points include making sure that any management that are involved in these sexual misconduct issues are actually dealt with and lose bonuses, as well as suggesting future bonuses should be tied to success at improving diversity, and getting away from WilmerHale for doing this internal review.

      The sad part is that as given in this article, they still seem to put Kotick on a pedestal and seemingly don't question if he had a role in this.

      https://www.axios.com/activision-blizzard-shareholder-soc-scanda-eed23e62-e8b4-4cfa-bc0e-28cd80ea2f1e.html

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        August 10, 2021 1:32 PM

        If you have any problem understanding why Bobby is untouchable when it comes to th shareholders, google Activision stock and select the all time graph.

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          August 10, 2021 2:58 PM

          That and as far as I can tell he is totally clean as far as personal conduct goes, he's not like Harvey Weinstein or something.

          His transgressions have to do with exploiting labor and taking insane paydays, and the board/investors don't give a shit about that as long as the stock continues performing

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            August 10, 2021 3:26 PM

            I do believe that Kotick has had no direct role in any of this, but he should not be seen as clear as this is something he as the top person there should have been aware of and been more proactive to deal with. That's more in line with how the shareholders see this, outside of the fact he seems untouchable given how well he's made A B shareholders mad cash.

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              August 10, 2021 3:34 PM

              If he can reasonably claim that he's been shielded from knowing about cases of individual misconduct then it doesn't really matter

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                August 10, 2021 3:45 PM

                of course in a sane world the CEO saying he's simply not in position to notice years long companywide scandals should not actually inspire confidence from others in his future leadership capabilities

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                  August 10, 2021 4:14 PM

                  Yep. They never gave a shit whether he was involved or not. Not a single fuck.

                  Stock goes up = good CEO, regardless of how you get there.

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        August 10, 2021 3:28 PM

        inadequet huh?

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        August 10, 2021 4:12 PM

        Punish the non money people.

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        August 10, 2021 4:39 PM

        Kotick grew the share price exponentially in his tenure so far (or at least shareholders credit him with doing so more than anyone else), they won’t kill the goose laying the golden egg, he’s untouchable.

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          August 10, 2021 5:09 PM

          All gaming companies grew dramatically.

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        August 10, 2021 5:15 PM

        What if the bad people from that tencent video all got rehired in blizzard to lead the next game

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      August 10, 2021 3:34 PM

      Resign, Kotick!
      This is your mess.

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        August 10, 2021 3:46 PM

        Isn’t he a major shareholder too, though?

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          August 10, 2021 4:26 PM

          Pretty sure he is #1 or #2 individual shareholder.

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            August 10, 2021 4:38 PM

            Yeah he is number 1 individual shareholder but doesn’t even register in the top 10 overall shareholders. He has something like 0.56% of shares.

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      August 10, 2021 3:44 PM

      Investment group SOC executive director Dieter Waizeneggar, "Listen to me. Listen to me now! Get down!"

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