Back in November, the Wall Street Journal reported that Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick was aware of some allegations of sexual misconduct among the company''s employees but did not inform the board of directors. But yesterday, the board of directors issued a statement saying that "an objective review" from external advisors ruled that the Board never intentionally ignored or attempted to downplay instances of gender harassment that occurred and were reported, and there is no evidence "suggesting any attempt by any senior executive or employee to conceal information."
In fact, another, separate data analysis shows that "there was no widespread harassment, pattern, or practice of harassment, or systemic harassment at Activision Blizzard or at any of its business units" in the United States between September 1st, 2016 and December 31st, 2021. Indeed, "based on the volume of reports, the amount of misconduct reflected is relatively small for a company the size of Activision Blizzard," according to a SEC filing.
The first review by unknown external advisors reveals that there were some substantiated instances of gender harassment, which was unanswered, although this did not indicate that Activision Blizzard senior executives or the board were aware or tolerant of such "reported" behavior. Those instances do not, according to the review, indicate that "media criticization of the Board and Activision Blizzard senior executives as insensitive to workplace situations is without merit, and "Activision Blizzard responded in
ABK Workers Alliance, an Activision Blizzard employee group, are not impressed. They tweeted: "This is an incredible disrespect to harassment victims. You either knew what you are doing and did nothing or actively admitted you''re not in charge of your own company." They''ve since tweeted a two-part thread.
Part 1 of the SEC filing: https://t.co/JY2e8Z3D7kPart 2:https://t.co/rNGpHu4gcw For those following along here, here''s a two-part (MANY TWEET) breakdown.
Activision Blizzard''s board of directors recommended that shareholders vote against a proposal by the State of California to investigate how allegations of sexual harrassment and misconduct were handled internally. Upon appeal, the board of directors decided that the vote would be halted at the annual meeting on June 21st, but it should be more direct to respond to employee concerns.
Yesterday''s statement from the board of directors of Activision Blizzards said something was attempting very hard to draw a line under things. Despite discovering they did nothing wrong, the statement also outlines "reforms and improvements" company management have made with the board''s supervision, including "the launch of a new company-wide zero-tolerance harassment policy."