US Senators accuse Microsoft of “protecting” Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick

Bernie Sanders and three other Senators say Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard has "impeded unionisation efforts and undermined workers' calls for accountability"

Four US Senators have accused Microsoft of protecting Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, whose presence at the company has been mired by misconduct allegations and calls to resign from employees.

Yesterday (March 31), four US Senators – Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Sheldon Whitehouse – signed a letter addressed to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a US government body that’s currently investigating Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

As shared by Axios reporter Stephen Totilo, you can read the full letter below.

Advertisement

The letter calls for the FTC to assess whether the merger will “exacerbate” issues within Activision Blizzard, such as alleged sexual misconduct and efforts to prevent workers in the company from unionising.

The Senators allege that “the proposed merger has already impeded unionisation efforts and undermined workers’ calls for accountability” and explain that despite nearly 1,800 Activision Blizzard employees calling for the removal of CEO Bobby Kotick, Microsoft’s current acquisition “is protecting Mr. Kotick” and offers him a “golden parachute”.

Bobby Kotick, President and CEO, Activision Blizzard in 2014 CREDIT: Javier Rojas
Bobby Kotick, President and CEO, Activision Blizzard in 2014 CREDIT: Javier Rojas

“This lack of accountability, despite shareholders, employees, and the public calling for Kotick to be held responsible for the culture he created, would be an unacceptable result of the proposed Microsoft acquisition,” reads the letter.

In November 2021, it was alleged that Kotick was aware of sexual misconduct within Activision Blizzard for several years, and even worked to protect alleged abusers within the company. Kotick denied these reports, and claimed it “paints an inaccurate and misleading view of our company, of me personally, and my leadership.”

Advertisement

Activision Blizzard has recently settled its lawsuit with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for £13.7million, however the company still has several other open lawsuits.

As of today (April 1), Activision Blizzard is still embroiled in lawsuits from the Communications Workers Of America, one of the company’s shareholders, and an anonymous employee who alleges an “alcohol-soaked culture of sexual harassment.”

Advertisement

TRENDING

Advertisement