CEO of Activison Blizzard Sets Workplace Harassment Goals Tied to His Compensation

CEO of Activison Blizzard Sets Workplace Harassment Goals, Tied to His Compensation

CEO of Activison Blizzard Sets Workplace Harassment Goals, Tied to His Compensation

CEO of Activision Blizzard Sets Workplace Harassment Goals, Tied to His Compensation


Bobby Kotick, Activision-Blizzard CEO, has issued a detailed statement about the company’s state following the California lawsuit that claimed it created a “fratboy” workplace culture that allowed for discrimination and sexual harassment. In the statement, five policies were outlined that will be implemented throughout the company to combat harassment, improve diversity and ensure equal pay.

Kotick’s letter started with a general statement to Activision-Blizzard workers, followed by a bulleted listing of new initiatives that will be standard in the company as a response to the lawsuit and workers’ demands for better working conditions.

  • The company has enacted a zero-tolerance policy for harassment. This means that, while harassment cases in the past were often dealt with with a written or verbal warning, harassment cases that are substantiated will be immediately terminated. Kotick points out that there may be laws in certain areas that limit these measures. In such cases, the company will apply the “highest permissible standards” and the most severe discipline.
  • Kotick also stated that the company would increase the number of women and non-binary workers by 50%, and would invest $250 million in this cause. The letter states that the goal is for women and non-binary employees to make up at least one-third of the company’s workforce within five years. Activision-Blizzard is investing $250 million in the next ten year to support initiatives that help underrepresented groups within the gaming industry. These include opportunities for career development in ABK Academy. This includes mentorship and apprenticeship programs that lead to game developer jobs. In the coming months, more information will be available about these initiatives.
  • Kotick also stated that the company will not be required to arbitrate any future claims of sexual harassment or discrimination. This was a key point of contention, and one of the demands by Activision-Blizzard employees regarding changes they desired to see in their company after the lawsuit.
  • Activision-Blizzard is going to report the results of its Pay Equity Analysis in order to be more transparent about wages and demographics for employees. This will ensure that all employees receive the same pay regardless of their position.
  • The company will also release quarterly progress updates on the above and make them a part of its annual reports to shareholders.

Kotick concludes his letter by stating that he will take a pay cut until Activision-Blizzard Board has determined that the company has achieved the “transformational gender-related goals” and other commitments. Kotick also states that he has asked the Board for a reduction in his salary to $62,500, the minimum California law allows for employees earning a salary. Kotick also stated that he will not be receiving equity or bonuses during this time.


ABetterABK is the workers’ movement within the company, which demanded that the leadership acknowledge harassment and set up systems to prevent it. Kotick responded to the letter. The group released a statement on Tweet describing it as “a huge victory”. However, it noted that it still demands an investigation into the claims by an “unbiased third party” rather than WilmerHale, who is well-known for its anti-union stance.

There have been walkouts and calls for the resignations of higher-ups at Activision Blizzard. Additionally, around 20 employees were fired in the course of the investigation. There have also been reports that threatened to organize employees and shred evidence which would have led to the indictment of those being accused of misconduct within the company.

Both World of Warcraft, as well as Overwatch, were updated to remove any references to employees named in the lawsuit.

CEO of Activison Blizzard Sets Workplace Harassment Goals, Tied to His Compensation
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