Blizzard Activision CEO Kotick knew about discrimination and sexual harassment

Blizzard Activision director Bobby Kotick was aware of discrimination and sexual misconduct within the company, according to a study by The Wall Street Journal. Kotick concealed several incidents and allegedly threatened a woman with death.

The Wall Street Journal spoke to several sources and has reviewed documents that have surfaced in the various investigations and lawsuits pending against the company. For example, the American state of California is taking Blizzard Activision to court for far-reaching discriminatory and sexually transgressive behaviour. A ‘frat-boy culture’ would prevail within the company.

Kotick has denied to the board of the company that he was aware of the transgressive behavior within the company. A different picture emerges from the American newspaper’s investigation.

In 2018, the CEO is said to have received an email from a lawyer for an employee of Activision game studio Sledgehammer Games, stating that the employee in question was allegedly raped by a male executive in 2016 and 2017. allegedly reached an out-of-court settlement with the woman. Kotick has not informed the board of this.

In addition, Kotick himself is also accused of transgressive behaviour. In 2006, one of his assistants filed a complaint against Kotick. He allegedly harassed and threatened her. He told her via voicemail to “have her killed”. An Activision spokesperson said Kotick had apologized and that it was an “exaggerated and inappropriate voicemail, which he regrets”.

Kotick has been subpoenaed in an investigation conducted by the US government agency SEC. The agency is investigating whether top management has timely and fully reported reports of sexual misconduct and discrimination to investors and shareholders. SEC wants to know from Kotick to what extent he was aware of abuses in the workplace.

Earlier this year, Blizzard Entertainment director J. Allen Brack resigned from his position amid allegations of a rotten work culture at the studio. He was succeeded by Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra. Oneal left after three months, and an email in the hands of The Wall Street Journal reveals that she left because she doesn’t trust management to change corporate culture.

In a response, Kotick writes that The Wall Street Journal article is misleading. He does not recognize himself in the picture that is being painted about the company and about himself.