Activision Blizzard’s Bobby Kotick reportedly still hiding information amid workplace misconduct

Despite growing pressure for transparency, Kotick keeps holding back information.

Photo via Activision Blizzard

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick is reported to have hidden several moves the company has made in response to sexual harassment and misconduct allegations, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Activision Blizzard has reportedly fired “more than three dozen employees and disciplined about 40 others since July,” people familiar with the situation told the Wall Street Journal. A summary of the firings and personnel discipline was supposed to be released by Activision Blizzard sometime before the holidays but Kotick held it back and told others that it could “make the company’s workplace problems seem bigger than is already known,” according to the report.

The Wall Street Journal confirmed with Activision Blizzard that 37 people have either resigned or been fired and 44 employees were disciplined. The number of reports employees made as part of the investigation is unknown, but a spokesperson for the company denied the WSJ’s sources’ claims that 700 reports of misconduct were reported.

Many employees of the company and fans of the gaming giant are baffled at the response from Kotick since the incident was brought to light last July. This seemingly isn’t the first instance of Kotick’s tendency to hide issues either, since it was previously reported that he knew about the allegations for years and didn’t inform the board about several of those incidents.

Fans, employees, and shareholders are still calling for Kotick’s removal, but the CEO remains in his position.

Update on Jan. 17 at 3:20pm CT: An Activision Blizzard spokesperson issued a statement to PC Gamer denying the Wall Street Journal’s report that Bobby Kotick blocked information regarding employee punishments as a result of the investigation.

“Whether a comment about culture, an incident or suggested improvements, every single report that the company receives matters, and we have significantly increased the resources available to ensure that we can quickly and thoroughly look into each one,” the statement said. “Through our expanded Ethics & Compliance function, we have completed reviews of more than 90% of the reports since July. From these completed reviews, 37 employees have exited the company and another 44 received written reprimands, formal warnings or other discipline. The assertion that Mr. Kotick blocked the release of this information is simply inaccurate. An interim update to our employees is still being worked on, and the company remains committed to continuing to provide periodic updates on its progress.”

About the author
Jessica Scharnagle

Jessica has been an esports and gaming journalist for just over five years. She also teaches esports journalism at Rowan University. Follow her for all things gaming, @JessScharnagle on Twitter.