As Call of Duty publisher Activision Blizzard faces state and federal lawsuits over widespread employee mistreatment, a harrowing new report alleges that CEO Bobby Kotick was aware of reports of harassment and abuse for years before regulatory agencies began their investigations. Worse still, the report includes allegations that he actively suppressed these reports, failed to inform the board of directors about them, and protected leaders accused of serious misconduct.
The lengthy report was published today, November 16, in the Wall Street Journal, and cites interviews with current and former employees as well as a review of internal documents like memos, emails, and regulatory requests. The report includes several new allegations of misconduct, many of which involve heavy use of alcohol both at work-related functions and in the office.
The report says internal Activision Blizzard documents indicate that Kotick was aware of abuse allegations before California state investigators began looking into the company in 2018, and that he did not share this information with Activision’s board of directors. The US Securities and Exchange Commission issued a subpoena earlier this year for Kotick to testify on this issue, as well as on how the company has handled workplace harassment and gender-based pay disparities.