Well, things are escalating fast, to put it mildly. The pressure is mounting on CEO Bobby Kotick to resign in light of the Journal’s revelations about his complicity in the company’s problems. Here’s what has happened since yesterday:
Image at top: “World of Warcraft” franchise from Activision’s Blizzard Entertainment
- Nearly 1,600 Activision employees and contractors have called for Kotick to be removed. That’s the number who have signed this petition at the time of writing. The petition carries weight because the signatories have given their names and job titles. At the top, they write:
Read our ongoing coverage of the Activision Blizzard scandal below.
- A separate petition to oust him has garnered over 14,500 signatures and counting. This one isn’t limited to employees and contractors, but it is endorsed by Activision’s employee advocacy group ABK Workers Alliance. “Having a petition with Activision Blizzard consumer signatures should show him how much we think he is unfit for his position,” the organizers write.
- The boss of Xbox condemned the developments at Activision. Phil Spencer told his staff in an email that he’s “disturbed and deeply troubled by the horrific events and actions” at the company, and referred to the Wall Street Journal report. He added that Microsoft is “evaluating all aspects of our relationship with Activision Blizzard and making ongoing proactive adjustments.” Spencer’s comments follow a similar intervention by Playstation’s Jim Ryan on Wednesday.
- Girls Who Code severed ties with Activision. The nonprofit, which advocates for women in tech, had partnered with the company since 2018. A statement from the organization read in part: “We hold our partners accountable when they fall short and work with them to bring meaningful solutions to the table. However, there is a line, and the allegations against Activision have crossed that line.”
We, the undersigned, no longer have confidence in the leadership of Bobby Kotick as the CEO of Activision Blizzard. The information that has come to light about his behaviors and practices in the running of our companies runs counter to the culture and integrity we require of our leadership — and directly conflicts with the initiatives started by our peers. We ask that Bobby Kotick remove himself as CEO of Activision Blizzard, and that shareholders be allowed to select the new CEO without the input of Bobby, who we are aware owns a substantial portion of the voting rights of the shareholders.
Yesterday, we updated you on developments in Activision Blizzard’s sexual harassment scandal since The Wall Street Journal published its bombshell report on Tuesday.