activision-blizzard-employees-are-walking-out-following-bombshell-report-about-bobby-kotick

Activision Blizzard employees are staging a walkout today in the wake of The Wall Street Journal's bombshell report regarding CEO Bobby Kotick.

The ABK Workers Alliance group, which represents workers at Activision Blizzard and its subsidiary King, announced the walkout on social media. "We will not be silenced until Bobby Kotick has been replaced as CEO," the group said, adding that it continues to demand a third-party review of the company by a source chosen by its workers.

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

In response, an Activision Blizzard spokesperson provided the following statement to GameSpot:

"We are fully committed to fostering a safe, inclusive and rewarding environment for all of our employees around the world. We support their right to express their opinions and concerns in a safe and respectful manner, without fear of retaliation."

This is the second major Activision Blizzard walkout this year. It follows one in July when the workers' group protested the company's "abhorrent and insulting" response to the lawsuits that document claims of sexual harassment of women, pay violations, and a "frat boy" culture.

The WSJ report--which was based on months of reporting, interviews, and sourced documents--claimed that Kotick had knowledge of numerous sexual assault and harassment claims at Activision Blizzard's various studios. It also said he did not notify the board of directors of an out-of-court settlement to an employee who accused a supervisor of rape.

The report also sheds light on the departure of Blizzard co-leaderJen Oneal and contains accusations of harassment by a Treyarch developer who left the company after the WSJ began investigating.

A spokesperson for Activision Blizzard said the company is "disappointed" in the WSJ report, saying it "presents an inaccurate and misleading view" of the company and Kotick. Kotick also personally released a video, transcribed and published by Activision, that responds to the WSJ report.

Kotick acquired Activision out of bankruptcy in 1991 for $400,000 with a group of investors and has been its CEO since. He is one of the highest-paid CEOs in the US, and not just in video games, making $154 million in 2020. Prior to the WSJ report coming out, Kotick agreed to take a massive pay cut and announced that Activision would end mandatory arbitration practice for employees.

For more, check out GameSpot's timeline of all the major events in the Activision Blizzard case.