Hundreds of Activision Blizzard employees resign as CEO

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Bobby Kotick, longtime CEO of Activision Blizzard, is facing increasing pressure from his employees to step down amid sexual harassment scandals within the company, one of the most popular video game developers.

More than 800 Activision Blizzard employees signed a petition calling for Kotick’s resignation. The petition, released last Thursday (18), says “I no longer have confidence” in Kotick’s leadership.

“We ask that Bobby Kotick resign as CEO of Activision Blizzard and that shareholders be able to select a new CEO without the nomination of Bobby, who we know holds a substantial portion of the voting rights of shareholders,” the petition says.

Activision Blizzard – which holds such popular titles as “Call of Duty”, “World of Warcraft” and “Candy Crush” – has been in a sexual harassment and discrimination scandal for months and is currently under scrutiny by several US government agencies.

A spokesperson for Activision Blizzars said, in response to the petition, that the company was “fully committed to promoting a safe, inclusive and rewarding environment” for its 9,500 employees worldwide.

“We support the right of employees to express their opinions and concerns in a safe and respectful manner, without fear of retaliation,” said the spokesperson.

The petition comes two days after more than 100 officials staged a strike calling for Kotick’s resignation.

The strike, which was the company’s second in less than six months, came in response to a Wall Street Journal report indicating that the CEO had been aware for years of issues of harassment and discrimination. The report cited internal company documents, as well as people familiar with the matter.

In a statement to employees, Kotick said the Wall Street Journal report “paints an inaccurate and misleading view of our company, me and my leadership.” He added that “anyone who doubts my conviction to make this the most welcoming and inclusive place doesn’t realize how important it is to me.”

While the report has renewed tensions among employees, so far Activision Blizzard’s board has retained Kotick.

“The Board remains confident in Bobby Kotick’s leadership, commitment and ability” to address long-standing and ongoing issues at the company, such as harassment and discrimination, they said in a statement last Tuesday (16).

Kotick, who has been CEO of Activision since 1991, including during the 2008 merger with Blizzard, has been working in damage control mode for most of the year.

Last month, he announced intentions to reduce his salary from $155 million – one of the largest corporates in the US – to “the smallest amount that California law allows” until the company resolves its problems with gender discrimination and harassment. If the Board approves, that means your salary would drop to $62,500

(Translated text. Read the original here.)

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Reference: CNN Brasil

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