Activision-Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick: ‘The leadership team has heard you loud and clear’


As ATVI inventory dips and Blizzard workers plan a walkout tomorrow, Activision-Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has finally publicly addressed the company’s workers in regard to the continuing sexism lawsuit and fallout. He says that the corporate’s preliminary responses have been “tone deaf” and apologizes for the dearth of empathy. “The management crew has heard you loud and clear,” he writes to workers in a press launch despatched to press and buyers.

The letter contains the contact data for an outside law firm that the corporate has apparently contracted to audit its insurance policies and procedures. Kotick insists that the corporate will examine each declare, rent employees and sources to take action, add moderated protected areas for talking up, re-evaluate managers and terminate anybody “discovered to have impeded the integrity of [the company’s] processes for evaluating claims,” and create extra various hiring “compliance sources” (we be aware right here that the corporate has refused to cooperate with diversity proposals in the past). He reiterates the assertion made by the WoW-specific crew earlier right now that inappropriate in-game content material may even be eliminated, although it’s not clear which video games and which content material he means right here.

“We would be the most inspiring, inclusive leisure firm on the planet,” he declares. Right here is the letter in full.

This has been a troublesome and upsetting week.

I need to acknowledge and thank all those that have come ahead up to now and in current days. I so admire your braveness. Each voice issues – and we’ll do a greater job of listening now, and sooner or later.

Our preliminary responses to the problems we face collectively, and to your considerations, have been, fairly frankly, tone deaf.

It’s crucial that we acknowledge all views and experiences and respect the emotions of those that have been mistreated in any manner. I’m sorry that we didn’t present the correct empathy and understanding.

A lot of you might have advised us that energetic outreach comes from caring so deeply for the Firm. That so many individuals have reached out and shared ideas, strategies, and highlighted alternatives for enchancment is a strong reflection of how you take care of our communities of colleagues and gamers – and for one another. Guaranteeing that we’ve a protected and welcoming work setting is my highest precedence. The management crew has heard you loud and clear.

We’re taking swift motion to be the compassionate, caring firm you got here to work for and to make sure a protected setting. There isn’t a place wherever at our Firm for discrimination, harassment, or unequal therapy of any sort.

We are going to do every part doable to ensure that collectively, we enhance and construct the type of inclusive office that’s important to foster creativity and inspiration.

I’ve requested the regulation agency WilmerHale to conduct a assessment of our insurance policies and procedures to make sure that we’ve and keep greatest practices to advertise a respectful and inclusive office. This work will start instantly. The WilmerHale crew can be led by Stephanie Avakian, who’s a member of the administration crew at WilmerHale and was most not too long ago the Director of the US Securities and Trade Fee’s Division of Enforcement.

We encourage anybody with an expertise you consider violates our insurance policies or in any manner made you uncomfortable within the office to make use of any of our many present channels for reporting or to achieve out to Stephanie. She and her crew at WilmerHale can be out there to talk with you on a confidential foundation and may be reached at or 202-247-2725. Your outreach can be saved confidential. After all, NO retaliation can be tolerated.

We’re dedicated to long-lasting change. Efficient instantly, we can be taking the next actions:

Worker Assist. We are going to proceed to research each declare and won’t hesitate to take decisive motion. To strengthen our capabilities on this space we’re including extra senior employees and different sources to each the Compliance crew and the Worker Relations crew.

Listening Classes. We all know lots of you might have impressed concepts on how you can enhance our tradition. We can be creating protected areas, moderated by third events, so that you can communicate out and share areas for enchancment.

Personnel Modifications. We’re instantly evaluating managers and leaders throughout the Firm. Anybody discovered to have impeded the integrity of our processes for evaluating claims and imposing applicable penalties can be terminated.

Hiring Practices. Earlier this yr I despatched an electronic mail requiring all hiring managers to make sure they’ve various candidate slates for all open positions. We can be including compliance sources to make sure that our hiring managers are in actual fact adhering to this directive.

In-game Modifications. We have now heard the enter from worker and participant communities that a few of our in-game content material is inappropriate. We’re eradicating that content material.

Your well-being stays my precedence and I’ll spare no firm useful resource guaranteeing that our firm has essentially the most welcoming, snug, and protected tradition doable.

You’ve my unwavering dedication that we are going to enhance our firm collectively, and we would be the most inspiring, inclusive leisure firm on the planet.

Yours sincerely,


As we’ve been overlaying, final week California filed a massive sexual discrimination and sexual harassment lawsuit against Activision-Blizzard following a two-year investigation. During the last week, we’ve seen a gentle stream of leaked memos, press statements, and apologies from each present former Activision-Blizzard leaders, in addition to an outraged refrain of staff elevating their voices to name out abuses and lies. We’ve even seen at the very least one govt resignation (out of disgust, not out of guilt). Yesterday, workers started signing on to an open letter condemning the company response. As of this night, it has over 3200 signatures, and the employee walkout is deliberate for tomorrow. (It does not appear to be flagging one bit.)

Oh yeah, and the quarterly investor name is subsequent week.

Kotick himself is a controversial determine who has presided over Activision-Blizzard’s trendy narratives: multiple incidents of mass layoffs despite file earnings, the Blitzchung incident and boycottdodgy stock deals, an exodus of veteran developers, multiple labor uprisings and compensation uproarclosed studios, the executive pay scandalcollapsing playerbases, shareholder vote shenanigans, and the diversity measures mess we just mentioned.

It hopefully ought to go with out saying that if you happen to’re concerned within the state lawsuit, it is best to most likely not be volunteering data to the defendant’s corporate attorney, significantly when the lawyer’s experience is actually serving to non-public corporations navigate “the challenges of presidency investigations.”

Additional studying:

Commercial | Activision-Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick: ‘The management crew has heard you loud and clear’


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