| 17. November 2021

Blizzard – Employees go on strike because of CEO Bobby Kotick

It seems that the CEO of Blizzard, Bobby Kotick, is not as innocent and ignorant as he pretended to be – allegedly he has known very well for a long time what was going on in the company and how the women were treated. Only he never reported it to the board or stood up for the victims. Blizzard employees have had enough and are demanding that the CEO should be fired asap.

A female employee of Sledgehammer Games, a studio owned by Activision, has claimed to have been raped twice after company parties. At the two events, she said she was pressured to drink too much alcohol until she was completely helpless against her perpetrators.

Did Kotick know everything?

After the rapes, she approached both the board of directors and the human resources department – but nothing was done about the perpetrator. The woman then got a lawyer, who sent an email to Kotick in 2018 detailing the allegations.

They were able to reach an out-of-court settlement but Kotick never informed the board about it. Even though he knew about it perfectly well. Why didn’t he do it? Probably because of money. If the company had fallen out of favor, investors would have jumped ship and the company, including Kotick, would have made less money. Which the shitstorm certainly triggered later.

But don’t worry, Kotick is still filthy rich and has no plans to resign. Kotick vehemently denies having known anything about all this – and delivers one PR-soaked, inclusivity- and equality-talking hypocritical message after another. But the evidence clearly shows that Kotick knew everything.

As the Wall Street Journal reported in an article, the board was shocked when they learned about what was really going on at the company. One incident in particular shook the board to its core. At one of the infamous company parties, in addition to the Cosby suite, rape and sexual abuse, there was also the explicit nude image of a female employee that passed through the hands of the employees – afterwards the woman killed herself.

This form of revenge porn, which led to her suicide, was also swept under the rug. And it seems that the problem is so deeply rooted at Blizzard that they would actually have to replace almost the entire company to really start all over again. After the whole mess, Blizzard brought in two new executives – Mike Ybarra and Jen O Neal. A man and an American-Asian lesbian woman. You know, Inclusivity and Tolerance. But Jen O Neal left only a few months after, or should we say fled?

Is the board part of the problem

In early November, Jen Oneal stepped down from her chief executive post, saying that she “realized the company would never properly prioritize our employees.” Perhaps the board is part of the problem, too, as they decided to officially stand behind Bobby Kotick and together they have fobbed off the public with the same verbiage about integrity, equality, and inclusivity. But a cleverly fabricated PR statement simply won’t change anything.

The statement reads:

“Activision Blizzard’s Board of Directors remains committed to making Activision Blizzard the most welcoming and inclusive company in the industry. Under Bobby Kotick’s leadership, the company is already implementing industry-leading changes, including a zero tolerance policy for harassment, a commitment to significantly increase the percentage of women and non-binary individuals in our workforce, and significant internal and external investments to improve opportunities for diverse talent. The Board remains confident that Activision CEO Bobby Kotick has adequately addressed the workplace issues brought to his attention.The goals we have set are both critical and ambitious. The Board continues to have confidence in Bobby Kotick’s leadership, commitment and ability to achieve these goals.”

With Kotick and the board continuing to insist that no one knew about anything, even when the evidence clearly shows otherwise, some Blizzard employees have decided to fight back and go on strike – again. They are also demanding that Bobby Kotick be replaced immediately. It seems that some both ambitious and critical employees have decided to implement their very own zero-tolerance policy, including the executives.