Activision forms ‘Workplace Responsibility Committee,’ does not remove Bobby Kotick as CEO

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Activision Blizzard has announced the formation of a workplace accountability committee, composed of two members of the Company’s Board of Directors, will oversee the Company’s implementation of “new policies, procedures and commitments” aimed at ending harassment, discrimination and other abuses in the workplace.

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The committee will “measure progress and ensure accountability” as Activision Blizzard moves to improve its workplace culture through key performance indicators and “consistent progress reports” by CEO Bobby Kotick, CPO Julie Hodges and COO Frances Townsend Will be given. It is also working to “add a new, diverse director to the board.”

The formation of the new committee sounds like a positive development, but it falls short of demands expressed by the ABK Workers’ Alliance employees’ union, which last week asked Kotick to either step down or remove him. The call came after Kotik was accused of workplace misconduct, including threatening to kill an assistant himself. Shortly thereafter, SOC Investment Group, an Activision Blizzard shareholder, also hired Kotick as chairman of the board Brian Kelly and principal independent director Robert J. Called for eviction with Morgado.

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The Activision Blizzard board has previously expressed support for Kotick, with the company noting the progress “under the leadership of Bobby Kotick”, saying it is confident in his “leadership, commitment and ability” to drive change. However, the tone of this statement seems different to me. It makes no mention of Kotick beyond requiring that he provide progress reports to the new committee, and instead prefers leadership to the board of directors.

“While the Company, with the support of the Board, is making significant progress in improving workplace culture, it is clear that the current circumstances demand increased Board engagement,” the statement said. “The formation of the committee and additional future changes will help facilitate additional direct oversight and transparency and ensure that the Company’s commitments to Activision Blizzard’s workforce are met promptly and with effect. These have been challenging times, but the Board remains confident in the ongoing actions to set the company up for future success.”

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Kotick has recently thought about stepping down as CEO if he is unable to “speed up” with Activision Blizzard’s solution to several problems, and his position is looking increasingly untenable: coming from employees and shareholders. As with the Wally call, the company—and, by extension, Kotick himself—has been sharply criticized by industry heavyweights including Sony Interactive president and CEO Jim Ryan, Xbox chief Phil Spencer, and most recently, Nintendo of America chief Doug Bowser. Is. The non-profit group Girls Who Code, an organization that works to increase the number of women working in computer science fields, also recently terminated its Activision Blizzard partnership.

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