Bobby Kotick Says He Will Consider Stepping Down From Activision Blizzard If Issues Aren't Fixed Quickly - Report
If the issues are not sorted out "with speed," Kotick says he will consider leaving the company he acquired 30 years ago.
A new report from The Wall Street Journal says that Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick informed staff recently that he would think about the possibility of stepping down if he is unable to fix the company's workplace issues in a timely manner. This is according to comments he is said to have made during a meeting on Friday, November 19 with "senior managers" at Blizzard specifically.
According to sources speaking to WSJ, Kotick said he would consider stepping down if the issues were not fixed "with speed." A spokesperson for Activision Blizzard did not respond to WSJ's request for comment. GameSpot has reached out to the company as well.
According to WSJ, Activision Blizzard held "a series of internal meetings" last week during which Kotick and other executives spoke about what they are doing to improve company culture. Blizzard head Mike Ybarra was apparently among the senior managers to lead a meeting. Engineer Violet Klorer praised Ybarra for taking the time to answer "hard" questions about Blizzard.
It was recently revealed that Blizzard's other co-president, Jen Oneal, resigned from her post after expressing a lack of faith in Blizzard's ability to turn things around. A report said Oneal was only offered pay parity with Ybarra after she announced plans to resign.
Thank you, Violet! I greatly enjoyed meeting so many talented employees. Have a great holiday break.— Mike Ybarra 🎄 (@Qwik) November 20, 2021
According to the WSJ report, executives at Activision Publishing said in a meeting that some employees would not be satisfied with the path forward unless Kotick resigned. More than 1,700 staffers, or about 17% of the company's total workforce, have signed a petition calling on Kotick to resign. During the meetings, Kotick told staff he was ashamed of what happened under his leadership and apologized for the handling of certain key events, insiders said.
What's more, the report said Activision Blizzard's board of directors is mulling the possibility of creating a "workplace excellence committee" to help improve its company culture. No such internal investigation around Kotick personally has gotten underway as of yet, the report said.
Activision Blizzard's stock price has fallen each day since the WSJ report came out, and it's been on a downward trend since the state of California first sued the company in July.
In the wake of the latest developments, executives from Sony and Microsoft have said they are evaluating their business dealings with Activision Blizzard, while the Girls Who Code organization announced it is dropping Activision Blizzard due to the workplace issues.
Activision Blizzard's board of directors has stood behind Kotick through the issues, saying it continues to believe Kotick is the right person to lead the company into the future.
For more, check out the full timeline of events involving Activision Blizzard and the California lawsuit it's facing.
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