In response to Activision Blizzard’s handling of a Wall Street Journal report that says CEO Bobby Kotick was aware of sexual harassment claims for years, the heads of both Playstation and Xbox have expressed their concerns to their respective staffs via internal emails.
Sony’s PlayStation chief Jim Ryan and Microsoft’s head of Xbox Phil Spencer have both addressed their respective staffs in the wake of the latest allegations against Activision Blizzard, according to Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier.
Ryan wrote to his employees on Tuesday, Nov. 16 that Sony and PlayStation had reached out to Activision Blizzard to express their “deep concern and to ask how they plan to address the claims made in the article.” Ryan added that he felt that the company’s response to the report didn’t “properly address the situation.”
A day later, Xbox’s Spencer penned a similar letter to the Xbox staff, saying that he and the leadership team were “disturbed and deeply troubled by the horrific events and actions” mentioned in the report. But Spencer also added that he and Xbox are considering action, saying that they’re “evaluating all aspects of [their] relationship with Activision Blizzard and making ongoing proactive adjustments.”
These responses stem from a Nov. 16 WSJ article reporting that Kotick has known about multiple sexual harassment allegations for years while serving as CEO and that he didn’t inform the board about these allegations even after the State of California’s labor department began its investigation leading to a lawsuit in July.
In response to the report, Activision Blizzard leadership has stuck by Kotick while dismissing the article, claiming it “presents an inaccurate and misleading view” of the CEO and the company. A group of shareholders sent a letter to the board demanding his resignation, but the board refused, prompting a massive walkout from several employees. Those employees have now signed a petition calling for Kotick’s removal, which has reached over 1,000 signatures.