Following a bombshell report from the Wall Street Journal that alleges Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick willfully covered up sexual misconduct claims, employees of the publisher have organized a walkout in protest of Kotick’s leadership. The workers' demands include the removal of Kotick as CEO and for worker-appointed third-party oversight of the company.
The report this morning from the Wall Street Journal painted an ugly picture of the corporate culture at Activision Blizzard and directly implicates CEO Bobby Kotick in the wrongdoing. Among the allegations in the report is a claim that Kotick once threatened a female employee’s life in 2006 and later assisted in covering up a reported rape.
As many of the company’s employees work remotely, a digital walkout is being undertaken in solidarity with those employees who chose to walk out of the Irvine, California offices of the game publisher today. Employee protests against the company are nothing new in 2021 as workers for the publisher also walked out some five months ago following allegations of sexual harassment and workplace misconduct from the State of California.
We have instituted our own Zero Tolerance Policy. We will not be silenced until Bobby Kotick has been replaced as CEO, and continue to hold our original demand for Third-Party review by an employee-chosen source. We are staging a Walkout today. We welcome you to join us.— ABetterABK 💙 ABK Workers Alliance (@ABetterABK) November 16, 2021
Kotick responded to the walkout in a video message on Tuesday, explaining that, “there’s an article today that paints an inaccurate and misleading view of our company, of me personally, and my leadership. Anyone who doubts my conviction to be the most welcoming, inclusive workplace doesn’t really appreciate how important this is to me.”
Had these issues carried any importance to Kotick, the sad state of office affairs at Activision Blizzard would not have reached this point. Where there is smoke, there is often fire and 2021 has seen more smoke coming from the Call of Duty publisher than a Cheech and Chong concert.