Over 150 Activision Blizzard employees held a walkout yesterday demanding the removal of CEO Bobby Kotick, after a new report unearthed more allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct. The Wall Street Journal even claim that Kotick himself had allegedly threatened to have someone killed. This is the second walkout workers have held this year following the first lawsuit that made allegations of widespread discrimination and harassment.Wall Street Journal report (you'll need to sign up for free to read it). They say they spoke to a number of former employees and saw internal documents that suggest Kotick knew more about employee misconduct allegations than he'd previously let on. New disturbing allegations about Kotick himself came to light too, with claims that he intervened in the past to stop an alleged harasser from being fired, and that he allegedly threatened to have someone killed.
"We will not be silenced until Bobby Kotick has been replaced as CEO, and continue to hold our original demand for Third-Party review by an employee-chosen source," said employee group ABetterABK.
I am walking out today asking for the resignation of Bobby Kotick, Brian Bulato and Frances Townsend #actiblizzwalkout— Jessica Gonzalez 💙 #ActiBlizzWalkout (@BlizzJess) November 16, 2021
Over 150 workers gathered outside Blizzard Entertainment's offices in Irvine, California. ABetterABK said that 90 more joined the protest virtually too, with many taking the #actiblizzwalkout hashtag on Twitter to share thoughts and support their colleagues.
I can't attend the #ActiBlizzWalkout in person today but I am standing in solidarity with my fellow employees. It's long past time to clean house.— devolore (@devolore) November 16, 2021
Activision Blizzard issued a statement about the new allegations, talking about recent improvements, and claiming the WSJ report "presents a misleading view of Activision Blizzard and our CEO." ABetterABK called this response "unacceptable".
"We are more than a revenue machine. We are people, and it is clear that Bobby Kotick is not conducive to the health and safety of any human element.
"Under Bobby Kotick's leadership the company has been accused of mistreatment, sexual harassment, rape, and a death threat made by Kotick himself," the group said. "The board is just as complicit if they let this slide. It's past time for Bobby to step down."