Bobby Kotick threatened employees and protected accused abusers according to WSJ report

A new report from The Wall Street Journal reveals more abhorrent behavior from Activision Blizzard leadership.

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Activision Blizzard has consistently been one of the biggest stories in gaming, for all of the wrong reasons. Numerous allegations of harassment and discrimination led to a lawsuit being filed by the state of California, as employees have banded together to fight for a better workplace. At the center of this storm has been CEO Bobby Kotick, who’s been accused of facilitating and even perpetuating a lot of the terrible ongoings at the gaming studio. Now, a report released by the Wall Street Journal exposes even more of Kotick’s toxic behavior.

The WSJ conducted a thorough investigation into the inner workings of Activision Blizzard and published its report on November 16, 2021. In the report, it’s stated that Bobby Kotick directly told an employee that he would have her killed back in 2006. The matter was settled outside of court. A former Sledgehammer employee accused a supervisor of rape back in 2016 and 2017. After being notified by the ex-employee’s lawyer, Activision settled the matter out of court. Bobby Kotick neglected to inform the company’s board of directors about the situation.

Treyarch co-head Dan Bunting was investigated by Activision’s HR department back in 2019 following allegations of sexually harassing a female employee two years prior. Following the investigation, it was recommended that Bunting be fired, but Bobby Kotick stopped that from happening. These are just a couple of anecdotes from the report that illustrate Kotick’s unacceptable behavior during his run as CEO of Activision Blizzard.

It was just months ago that Jen Oneal was appointed alongside Mike Ybarra to co-lead Blizzard back in August, only for Oneal to exit the company earlier this month. In the report, we learn that Jen Oneal sent an email to the company’s legal team in which she expressed doubt that Activision Blizzard's leadership would be able to fix its toxic environment. Oneal even goes on to reveal that she was paid less than Ybarra as co-heads of Blizzard. “I have been tokenized, marginalized, and discriminated against,” she said in her email.

The WSJ report is just the latest chapter in what’s been a series of damning reveals for Bobby Kotick and the leadership at Activision Blizzard. Kotick has yet to comment on any of the information shared in the report, but check back later for any potential updates.

News Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Star Wars nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

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