Activision CEO responds to sexual harassment lawsuit, company will take serious action

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The CEO of Activision Blizzard, Bobby Kotick, released a public statement in response to the sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit that was filed against the company, which in recent days has also resulted in a harsh internal response from employees.

Kotick sent a message to all employees about the lawsuit filed by the state of California for harassment and toxic work environment allegations last week, and notes that the company’s response could have been much, much better.

“Our initial responses to the problems we face together and to your concerns have, frankly, been inadequate”he said in the letter.

Kotick also revealed that a law firm, WilmerHale, was hired to immediately review the company’s policies in the hope “To promote a respectful and inclusive work environment” and that Activision Blizzard “Will continue to investigate every single complaint and will not hesitate to take decisive action”.

Kotick promised to fire everyone too “Hindered the integrity of our complaints assessment processes”.

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Here is the full text of Kotick’s letter.

Activision CEO’s letter in response to the allegations

This has been a difficult and upsetting week.

I want to greet and thank all those who have come forward in the past and in the last few days. I appreciate your courage so much. Every voice matters and we will do a better job of listening now and in the future.

Our initial responses to the problems we face together and your concerns were, frankly, out of tune.

It is imperative to recognize all perspectives and experiences and to respect the feelings of those who have been mistreated in any way. I’m sorry we didn’t provide the right empathy and understanding.

Many of you have told us that active commitment derives from such profound care for the Company. The fact that so many people have reached out and shared thoughts, suggestions and highlighted opportunities for improvement is a powerful reflection of how much you care about our communities of peers and players, and for each other. Ensuring a safe and welcoming work environment is my top priority. The management team has listened to you.

We are acting swiftly to be the compassionate and caring company you have come to work for and to ensure a safe environment. There is no place in our company for discrimination, harassment or unequal treatment of any kind.

We will do everything we can to make sure that together we will improve and build the kind of inclusive work environment that is essential to foster creativity and inspiration.

I asked the WilmerHale law firm to conduct a review of our policies and procedures to ensure best practices for promoting a respectful and inclusive work environment. This work will begin immediately. […]

We are committed to lasting change. Effective immediately, we will take the following actions:

  • Employee support. We will continue to investigate each and every complaint and will not hesitate to take decisive action. To strengthen our capabilities in this area, we are adding additional senior staff and other resources to both the compliance team and the employee relations team.
  • Listening sessions. We know many of you have inspiring ideas on how to improve our culture. We will create safe spaces, moderated by third parties, for you to speak and share areas for improvement.
  • Staff changes. We are immediately evaluating managers and leaders across the company. Anyone found to have obstructed the integrity of our processes for assessing complaints and imposing appropriate consequences will be fired.
  • Hiring practices. Earlier this year, I sent an email asking all hiring managers to make sure they have different candidate lists for all open positions. We will add compliance resources to ensure that our hiring managers actually adhere to this directive.
  • In-game changes. We have listened to input from employee and player communities that some of our game content is inappropriate. We are removing that content.

Your well-being remains my priority and I will spare no corporate resources by ensuring that our company has the most welcoming, comfortable and safe culture possible.

You have my firm commitment to improve our business together and become the most inspiring and inclusive entertainment company in the world.

Thanks for reading!

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