The SEC is investigating Activision Blizzard over handling of sexual misconduct and discrimination allegations

Activision Blizzard

The agency has reportedly issued subpoenas to several executives, including the CEO

A new investigation into issues at Activision Blizzard has started up. The Wall Street Journal reports today that the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, has launched an investigation into the video game publisher over how it handled employee allegations of sexual misconduct and workplace discrimination.

According to the Journal’s sources, the SEC has subpoenaed Activision Blizzard and several of its senior executives. This includes, according to their sources familiar with the investigation and documents viewed by The Wall Street Journal, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick.

The SEC is reportedly asking for a number of documents, including personnel files, minutes from Activision board meetings since 2019, and separation agreements from this year, as well as Kotick’s communications with other senior executives regarding complaints of sexual harassment or discrimination.

An Activision spokeswoman confirmed to The Wall Street Journal that the SEC’s investigation concerns “the company’s disclosures regarding employment matters and related issues.” The spokeswoman also added that several current and former employees have been subpoenaed, and that the company is “cooperating with the SEC.” An SEC spokesperson declined to comment to The WSJ.

Earlier this year, Activision Blizzard was sued by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing over allegations of a toxic workplace culture, including discrimination and sexual harassment. The fallout has included an employee walkout and response from shareholders, and also resulted in the departure of several Activision Blizzard employees. A federal labor board complaint has also been filed, and accuses Activision Blizzard of violating federal labor law through coercive actions.

Eric Van Allen