Activision Blizzard employees and contractors declare they ‘no longer have confidence’ in CEO Bobby Kotick
[Update: Since the publication of this piece, the petition has risen to over 1,000 signatures. The ABK Workers Alliance has also opened a petition for supporters who would like to sign. Our original story follows.]
Over 500 Activision Blizzard employees and contractors have signed a public petition calling for the removal of CEO Bobby Kotick. In the wake of a Wall Street Journal report on Kotick’s handling of previous sexual misconduct claims, as well as his own alleged treatment of employees, Activision Blizzard employees are taking a further step in attempting to enact change at the publisher.
“We, the undersigned, no longer have confidence in the leadership of Bobby Kotick as the CEO of Activision Blizzard,” the petition opens. What follows is a list of employees from many studios under the Activision Blizzard umbrella who have signed onto the petition, including Activision, Blizzard, King, Raven Software, Infinity Ward, Treyarch, Sledgehammer, and various support studios.
The ABK Workers Alliance shared the petition earlier today on social media. “The past few days have been rough, but it has strengthened our resolve to make #ABetterABK now more than ever,” the organization said in a later tweet. “Thank you to everyone who joined us for the walkouts. Your solidarity is appreciated. Every voice matters.”
Today over 500 current ABK employees and contractors signed a petition calling for the removal of Bobby Kotick as our CEO https://t.co/QP9sOJ76bK
— ABetterABK 💙 ABK Workers Alliance (@ABetterABK) November 18, 2021
The walkout and petition, as well as other reactions from within Activision Blizzard and without, are all in response to a recent Wall Street Journal report. In it, the Journal detailed several incidents that have taken place over the years at Activision Blizzard, including allegations of CEO Bobby Kotick intervening to keep an employee accused of sexual harassment at the company and allegations of failing to address sexual misconduct within Activision Blizzard.
Kotick issued his own response, shared in text form on the Activision Blizzard investors site. The Board of Directors also issued a statement, saying it remained confident in Kotick’s leadership.
Meanwhile, a report from Bloomberg says PlayStation chief Jim Ryan expressed “deep concern” over the response, and that they’ve reportedly reached out to Activision Blizzard to see how they plan to address the claims. “We do not believe their statements of response properly address the situation,” said Ryan.
A shareholder group has also called for Kotick’s resignation. Game Developer reported yesterday that, in internal meetings, Activision Blizzard leadership continued to stand by Kotick. This all comes in the wake of investigations into the company for discrimination, harassment, and a toxic culture from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.