Content warning: This story contains description of alleged sexual assault.
The Activision Blizzard board of directors has said it remains confident in CEO Bobby Kotick amid allegations he knew about the company’s sexual misconduct for years.
In a news release from earlier today (November 16), the board said it “remains committed to the goal of making Activision Blizzard the most welcoming and inclusive company in the industry. Under Bobby Kotick’s leadership the Company is already implementing industry leading changes including a zero tolerance harassment policy, a dedication to achieving significant increases to the percentages of women and non-binary people in our workforce and significant internal and external investments to accelerate opportunities for diverse talent.”
“The Board remains confident that Bobby Kotick appropriately addressed workplace issues brought to his attention. The goals we have set for ourselves are both critical and ambitious. The Board remains confident in Bobby Kotick’s leadership, commitment and ability to achieve these goals,” the post from the board adds.
This comes after a Wall Street Journal report alleges that in 2018 Kotick was told through email that a female employee had been raped, and the victim reached an out-of-court settlement.
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It also alleges that Kotick left a voicemail on his assistant’s phone that said he would “have her killed”. An Activision Blizzard spokesperson responded to the claims:
“Mr. Kotick quickly apologized 16 years ago for the obviously hyperbolic and inappropriate voice mail, and he deeply regrets the exaggeration and tone in his voice mail to this day.”
They added that “Mr. Kotick would not have been informed of every report of misconduct at every Activision Blizzard company, nor would he reasonably be expected to have been updated on all personnel issues”.
Following the article from the Wall Street Journal, Kotick himself released a statement saying the news “paints an inaccurate and misleading view of our company, of me personally, and my leadership,” adding that “anyone who doubts my conviction to be the most welcoming, inclusive workplace doesn’t really appreciate how important this is to me.”
You can read the full statement here.
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