More than 20 employees have left Activision Blizzard after internal investigation

More than 20 Activision Blizzard employees have left the company after the company conducted an internal investigation into reports of harassment, discrimination and retaliation. The employees have been laid off, according to the Financial Times.

In addition to the departure of the more than twenty employees, disciplinary actions have been taken against more than twenty employees. Activision Blizzard does not provide details about the departure and the measures. More than 20 employees have been laid off, according to the Financial Times. The measures follow an internal investigation in recent months, in which, according to the company, an increase in reports emerged. It concerned various reports, recently and from years ago. Action was taken first against the most serious reports. The investigation continues, according to Activision Blizzard.

“There is no place for harassment, discrimination and retaliation in this company,” Fran Townsend of Activision Blizzard’s corporate affairs department told employees, indicating that the reports were at least partly related. She emphasizes that following an internal evaluation, staff have been advised not to shy away from dismissal or disciplinary action against employees who break the policy and “do not contribute to a positive culture that treats all team members with respect.” Townsend told the FT that the departed employees are game developers and some executives, but none from the board or the senior management team.

The advice was also to be transparent and to invest in ethics, culture and training. According to Townsend, the company is taking steps in all these areas. For example, the Ethics & Compliance Team will be expanded with nineteen full-time jobs. This team conducts research and analyzes how the game company is doing ethically.

The steps follow reports of a negative culture within the company, which allegedly includes sexual abuse and sexual harassment. Activision Blizzard was sued for this last summer and some of the staff protested with actions. Several high-ranking employees have since left, including director J. Allen Brack and the producer of Overwatch 2.