Abuse at Activision Blizzard: they accuse the CEO of rushing the sale to Microsoft to avoid prosecution

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Robert Kotick still retains his position as CEO of Activision Blizzard pending the change of command. (Photo: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)

A New York organization is targeting Robert “Bobby” Kotick, saying he shouldn’t lead the sales process and holding him responsible for the mistreatment of women in the business.

ActivisionBlizzard received a new request this week, in addition to those already presented which pointed to the study of video games by abuse and discriminate against female employees . In this case, a court file indicates that the CEO of the company, Robert “Bobby” Kotick , he is not the right person to lead the sale to Microsoft. They also demand that the executive be held accountable for fostering a toxic and sexist work environment.

5 facts about the new lawsuit against Activision Blizzard

  • It was filed by the New York Employees Retirement System; the plaintiffs own shares of Activision Blizzard.

read also : Parents of Activision Blizzard employee blame company for daughter’s suicide

  • They point out that the agreement with microsoft (whose takeover bid was accepted) allows Kotick and other directors to escape responsibility for their “gross breaches” .
  • The plaintiffs ask that the current CEO not be in charge of leading the negotiations. The transaction has yet to be approved by regulators.
Activision Blizzard is in the eye of the storm, racking up lawsuits for harassment and discrimination against women.  (Photo: EFE/EPA/MICHAEL NELSON)
Activision Blizzard is in the eye of the storm, racking up lawsuits for harassment and discrimination against women. (Photo: EFE/EPA/MICHAEL NELSON)
  • According to the website Axioswho accepted the documents, the new documents indicate that $68.7 billion deal with Microsoft undervalues ​​the company .
  • In addition, the New York City plaintiffs are demanding access to company documentation, including reports related to the sale-purchase process and details of five other potential buyers.
Abuse at Activision Blizzard: they accuse the CEO of rushing the sale to Microsoft to avoid prosecution
  • Last week, Activision Blizzard’s shareholder group overwhelmingly approved the deal with Microsoft. The companies expect to complete the merger by the end of June 2023, although they require approval from regulators in the United States, United Kingdom, China and the European Union, among other markets. Following gadget, If the sale goes through, Kotick would earn up to $520 million .

Lawsuits against Activision Blizzard: the chronology with the accusations against the studio player

  • In mid-2021, the US Department of Fair Jobs and Housing sued Activision Blizzard and since then the studio player which sells famous titles such as Call of Duty Yes World of Warcraft, among many others, is in the eye of the storm. After a two-year investigation, cases of sexual abuse and discrimination against female employees . Later, testimonies that appeared in the media fleshed out the complaint.
  • The company returned to center stage when in January of the current year Microsoft said it would pay around 70,000 million to be the new owner of the company . The operation should be completed in the coming years.
  • A few weeks ago, the parents of a company employee who committed suicide while on leave have filed a complaint separately, targeting the company for wrongful death. As we have said on occasion Techno TN alleged that their daughter’s sexual harassment while working as a financial manager at that company was a “significant factor” in the tragic outcome.
Abuse at Activision Blizzard: they accuse the CEO of having rushed the sale to Microsoft to avoid prosecution
  • In March, it was learned that Activision Blizzard would pay $18 million to settle another lawsuit filed in September 2021 by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which accused the studio of fostering a toxic environment in which women were discriminated against and harassed. .
  • Last month, the company announced the hiring of Kristen Hines to lead the office of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). One of the tasks she will tackle is increasing the number of women and non-binary people in the company’s workforce. You will also have a say in certain aspects of game development.

read also : Activision Blizzard promises to hire more women after sexual harassment allegations

  • This week, a union in the United States denounced before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB, for its acronym in English) that Activision Blizzard systematically pressures its employees not to refer to working conditions and, above all, to cases of sexual harassment and discrimination against women.

Robert Kotick has been accused of threatening to kill an assistant

The Wall Street Journal released a report in November that revealed repeated abusive practices by Robert Kotick .

After the first lawsuit, the CEO of Activision Blizzard himself promised drastic changes: zero tolerance for harassment complaints and, in this context, cut his salary by 99.9% until the investigations were concluded. “Voices will be heard, different perspectives will be heard, and contributions will be appreciated,” Kotick promised in a letter to employees.

But the scandal grew over the months. The US newspaper reported that a woman who worked at Activision-owned Treyarch accused one of her bosses of sexually harassing her in 2017. The company investigated the matter for two years, said determined that he should be fired, but Kotick reversed that decision.

read also : Activision Blizzard: they file a new complaint for sexual harassment in the video game studio

The executive said this case and others were exceptions and not a reflection of work at the company. But Kotick himself has starred in a series of scandals. On the one hand, an aide said he threatened to kill her in a recorded message, a case dating back to 2006 and settled out of court.

The next year, A private jet flight attendant has sued Robert Kotick for firing her after she filed complaints that the plane’s pilot sexually harassed her. .

A workshop representative player came out at the crossroads of the report of WSJ“We are disappointed with the article, which presents an inaccurate and misleading view of Activision Blizzard and our CEO. The sexual misconduct cases brought to its attention have been addressed,” he said, saying that the newspaper ignored the changes for a “more welcoming and inclusive workplace”.

Abuse at Activision Blizzard: they accuse the CEO of rushing the sale to Microsoft to avoid prosecution

In this context, groups of workers have called for the dismissal of Kotick . “We will not be silenced until he is replaced as CEO and we will continue to maintain our original request for third-party review by a source chosen by employees,” they said. amid repeated walkouts last year.

Source: TN

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