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Activision logo on the side of a building.
Photo via Activision Blizzard / Mergr

Activision CEO Bobby Kotick reportedly knew about sexual harassment allegations ‘for years’

A new report claims that Kotick has been keeping information from the board.

Activision Blizzard’s longtime CEO Bobby Kotick has known about multiple allegations of sexual misconduct toward female employees of the company for a number of years, according to a lengthy report from the Wall Street Journal.

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Kotick reportedly has not informed the company’s board of directors about several different incidents, including an out-of-court settlement with a former Sledgehammer employee who alleged that she had been raped by a male supervisor after being pressured to consume excess alcohol in a work setting.

The WSJ report claims that Kotick “knew about allegations of employee misconduct in many parts of the company” and didn’t inform the board about what he knew even after the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing began its investigation. The state filed its lawsuit against Activision Blizzard this past July after years of investigating.

Additionally, the report claims that Kotick “intervened” in keeping Dan Bunting, the co-head of the Treyarch studio, after he was accused of sexually harassing a female employee, even after Activision’s HR department reportedly recommended that he be fired. Bunting has since left the company.

In the wake of the WSJ report, Activision Blizzard and Kotick have both gone on the offensive. An Activision Blizzard statement first shared by Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier claims that the report “presents an inaccurate and misleading view of Activision Blizzard and our CEO.” Schreier also shared that Kotick reportedly sent a video to Activision Blizzard employees today, attacking the WSJ article and defending the company.

Update Nov. 16 2:55pm CT: Activision Blizzard’s board of directors released a statement in response to today’s WSJ report.

“The Activision Blizzard Board remains committed to the goal of making Activision Blizzard the most welcoming and inclusive company in the industry,” the statement reads. “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.”

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Scott Robertson
VALORANT lead staff writer, also covering CS:GO, FPS games, other titles, and the wider esports industry. Watching and writing esports since 2014. Previously wrote for Dexerto, Upcomer, Splyce, and somehow MySpace. Jack of all games, master of none.