Over the last 3 years, several game companies have been accused of ignoring sexual harassment and other toxic work environment issues. Activision is among the biggest of those organizations.
In July of 2021 the California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a lawsuit against Activision/Blizzard in regard to the claims. According to an investigation, the gaming giant, “failed to take all reasonable steps to prevent unlawful discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.”
Activision took some steps to repair the issue. Jen Oneal was placed in charge of the company. She left after only 3 months, saying she doubted that the company would ever take a serious step towards change.
Employees have alleged that the head of the company, Bobby Kotick knew about the claims and did nothing about them. A spokesperson for Kotick denied the claims, saying, “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.”
While Kotick remains with the company, many others are now gone. Company spokesperson Helaine Klasky revealed that 37 employees have “exited” the company and 44 others have faced some sort of disciplinary action.
An announcement about the employees’ departures was set to be made before the holiday season. According to the Wall St. Journal report, Kotick has shut down the announcement feeling it would bring more bad press upon the company.
Klasky also noted that the company held an internal investigation into the claims against the company head. She denied them, saying, “the assertion regarding Mr. Kotick is untrue. Our focus is making sure we have accurate data and analysis to share. The Board’s support for Bobby is unchanged, and it is pleased with the commitment and leadership Bobby has demonstrated so far.”