Activision Blizzard shareholders join calls for CEO Bobby Kotick to quit

"It’s clear that the current leadership repeatedly failed to uphold a safe workplace"

A group of Activision Blizzard shareholders are asking for the resignation of CEO Bobby Kotick in a letter to the company’s board of directors.

READ MORE: Sexual harassment claims, lawsuits, and several high profile departures – what’s going on with Activision Blizzard?

The shareholders, who have a total of 4.8 million shares to their name, and are also calling for the board’s two longest serving directors, Brian Kelly and Robert Morgado, to retire by December 31.

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It comes after a report that said Kotick was aware of sexual misconduct allegations at the firm but did not inform his board of directors. However, following the report, The Activision Blizzard board of directors said it remained “confident in Bobby Kotick’s leadership.”

“In contrast to past company statements, CEO Bobby Kotick was aware of many incidents of sexual harassment, sexual assault and gender discrimination at Activision Blizzard, but failed either to ensure that the executives and managers responsible were terminated or to recognize and address the systematic nature of the company’s hostile workplace culture,” the shareholders wrote in a joint letter addressed to the company’s board of directors and shared with The Washington Post.

The shareholders have said that if the three senior members of staff don’t step down, they would not vote for the re-election of the current directors on the board at the next annual shareholder meeting in June. They also said they’d urge others to do the same.

“After the new revelations, it’s clear that the current leadership repeatedly failed to uphold a safe workplace — a basic function of their job,” a representative for the shareholders told The Washington Post. “Activision Blizzard needs a new CEO, board chair, and lead independent director with the expertise, skill set and conviction to truly change the company’s culture. We need to really have a reset button on the board.”

The letter from shareholders follows a walkout by over 200 members of staff. As voiced by the Activision Blizzard Workers Alliance on Twitter yesterday (November 16), the group has said it “will not be silenced until Bobby Kotick has been replaced as CEO”. The post also reiterates earlier demands for an employee-chosen third party to review the company, after Activision Blizzard selected a third-party law firm with a reputation for union busting.

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In response to claims that he has known about sexual misconduct within Activision Blizzard since 2018, Kotick issued a statement claiming that the recent reports paint “an accurate and misleading view of our company, of me personally, and my leadership”.

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