Hundreds Of Activision Blizzard Employees Call For Bobby Kotick To Resign
More than 500 developers have signed a petition calling for the removal of Kotick.
More than 500 developers at Activision Blizzard have signed a petition calling for the removal of CEO Bobby Kotick in the wake of a report from The Wall Street Journal that included claims that the executive covered up instances of sexual harassment at the gaming giant.
In their letter, shared by the ABK Workers Alliance, the workers--who signed the petition with their real names and not anonymously--said they "no longer have confidence in the leadership of Bobby Kotick as the CEO of Activision Blizzard."
"The information that has come to light about his behaviors and practices in the running of our companies runs counter to the culture and integrity we require of our leadership--and directly conflicts with the initiatives started by our peers," it says. "We ask that Bobby Kotick remove himself as CEO of Activision Blizzard, and that shareholders be allowed to select the new CEO without the input of Bobby, who we are aware owns a substantial portion of the voting rights of the shareholders."
Activision Blizzard is one of the biggest gaming developers and publishers on the planet. It has more than 9,500 employees worldwide, according to The Washington Post.
Today over 500 current ABK employees and contractors signed a petition calling for the removal of Bobby Kotick as our CEO https://t.co/QP9sOJ76bK— ABetterABK 💙 ABK Workers Alliance (@ABetterABK) November 18, 2021
More than 100 Activision Blizzard staff walked out on Tuesday following the WSJ report in protest, calling for changes including the removal of Kotick as the company's top executive.
In a statement, Kotick said the WSJ report mischaracterized events, while the Activision Blizzard board of directors defended Kotick and expressed faith in his ability to lead the company. A group of shareholders representing less than 1% of the company has called for Kotick to resign.
Activision Blizzard's stock price has dropped each day since the WSJ report on Tuesday, and has been trending generally downwards since July, when the company was sued over claims of a pattern of sexual harassment and discrimination against women.
Jim Ryan, the head of PlayStation, is said to have reached out to Activision Blizzard to express his concerns about the matter. It has subsequently been revealed in documents obtained by WSJ that Sony was Activision's largest customer in 2020, making up 17% of revenue in 2020. It is understood that PlayStation pays Sony yearly for Call of Duty timed-exclusivity rights.
For more, check out the full timeline of events involving Activision Blizzard and the California lawsuit it's facing.