The saga involving Bobby Kotick and Activision Blizzard continues as the ABK Workers Alliance announced Thursday that over 500 employees have signed a petition to remove Bobby Kotick from his position as CEO. The petition spawned off of a Wall Street Journal article that first reported that Bobby Kotick knew about sexual assault and misconduct allegations against employees across the company.
Today over 500 current ABK employees and contractors signed a petition calling for the removal of Bobby Kotick as our CEO https://t.co/QP9sOJ76bK
— ABetterABK 💙 ABK Workers Alliance (@ABetterABK) November 18, 2021
ABK Worker’s Alliance sign a petition to remove Bobby Kotick
The petition for Bobby Kotick’s removal stemmed from an article released by the Wall Street Journal which detailed over 500 cases of internal reports of sexual harassment within the company. After the fact, Jen O’Neal, a long-time Blizzard exec and Co-CEO, stated that she did not trust the company’s leadership in solving the cultural problems that lie within Blizzard. The sentiment was shared with several employees in a scathing internal email. With the news getting out, several employees in the ABK Workers Alliance, a group dedicated to making the voices of Activision-Blizzard workers heard, sent out a petition to remove Bobby Kotick from his position of CEO. The petition has now reached 500 signees.
Playstation and Xbox evaluate relationship with Activision Blizzard
In a report by Bloomberg, Vice President of Gaming for Microsoft, Phil Spencer sent an email to Xbox staff on Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, in which he revealed that Xbox is “evaluating all aspects of our relationship with Activision Blizzard and making ongoing proactive adjustments.” Spencer continued to state that he is “disturbed and deeply troubled by the horrific events and actions” that were reported about Blizzard this week.
Xbox was not the only large-scale gaming company to make a statement about Blizzard to their employees. In another report by Bloomberg, PlayStation also sent out an internal email of a similar tone to all of its employees.
“We outreached to Activision immediately after the article was published to express our deep concern and to ask how they plan to address the claims made in the article,” wrote Sony Group Corp.’s PlayStation Chief Jim Ryan. “We do not believe their statements of response properly address the situation.”
Activision Blizzard’s board of directors responded to the allegations reported by WSJ by confirming their confidence in Bobby Kotick as a CEO going forward.
“The Activision Blizzard Board remains committed to the goal of making Activision Blizzard the most welcoming and inclusive company in the industry,” the board stated. “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.”
Outraged by Blizzard’s response, several hundred employees staged another walkout to protest the commitment to keep Bobby Kotick as CEO. Now, they have over 500 signatures towards that goal as well.