Activision Blizzard boss reportedly covered up on sexual assault and rape within his company

The hard core of rot

The more time goes by, the more Activision Blizzard home work environment toxicity is revealed in broad daylight. A survey carried out by the renowned Wall Street Journal shows that we have not yet touched the bottom of the gall pit: the boss of Activision Blizzard himself, Bobby Kotick, was apparently aware of sexual harassment and rape and would have knowingly chosen to ignore them. Worse, he would have covered perpetrators by ensuring they keep their posts.

For some time now, Activision Blizzard has been facing heavy accusations which earned him several trials. The first, brought by the State of California, concerns precisely facts of sexual harassment, but also of discrimination, while the second comes directly from investors, who accuse Activision Blizzard of having hidden these decisive elements from them. On top of that, the company is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the US federal regulator and supervisor of financial markets.

This news has the effect of a bomb, especially because of the affairs that are already shaking the biggest company in the video game industry, but also because it directly involves the man at its head, of whom we can safely say that he is someone particularly powerful and influential.

Wall Street Journal investigation shows Kotick was aware of acts of harassment, sexual harassment and discrimination within the company. The boss of Activision Blizzard has chosen to protect the perpetrators, sometimes by outright hiding the offenses from the executive committee. The newspaper claims that internal company documents prove it, just as much as interviews with former employees.

Kotick allegedly threatened with death a woman suing him for sexual assault

Regarding the known facts of Kotick, specific examples are given. The first concerns an employee of Sledgehammer Games (one of the studios behind Call of Duty) who said she was raped by a superior in 2016. Another case was reported the following year, a sexual harassment this time. In both cases, the accused is the same: Javier Panameno.

Want to know what Kotick did? He held his tongue. The management committee was not informed and Panameno was able to stay quietly in office until the threat of legal action becomes too concrete. Things were then settled out of court, probably through an out-of-court settlement.

The man above is called Dan Bunting, and it is also linked to stories of sexual harassment. In 2017, he was responsible for the Treyarch studio, also behind Call of Duty. When an employee revealed she was sexually harassed by Bunting, Activision Blizzard’s human resources department investigated and issued an official notice: fire Bunting. Kotick didn’t just keep silent this time around, he is outright intervened to prevent Bunting’s dismissal and preferred to punish him, but not too hard.

Bunting was still in office 2 months ago. It was then thathe decided to resign. It’s funny, because it’s when the Wall Street Journal began to investigate on these facts.

But it all goes even further. Bobby Kotick himself allegedly mistreated female employees. In 2006 he would have threatened with death one of his assistants in a voice message. An Activision representative said on this topic:

Mr. Kotick quickly apologized 16 years ago for this obviously hyperbolic and inappropriate voicemail message, and he deeply regrets the hype and tone of that message even today.

Well yes, he seems to be someone eaten away by remorse. Surely that’s why he chose to cover up all of these horrors over the years.

Surely he also regrets having threatened a woman to “destroy” her in 2007, whileshe was suing him for sexual assault to the pilot of a private jet of which he was a co-owner.

The management committee ofEvil Corp Activision Blizzard défend Bobby Kotick

Maybe you remember the email that was sent to Activision Blizzard employees in July, after the state of California said it was suing the company. This email was signed by the hand of Fran Townsend, Chief Compliance Officer (someone responsible for ensuring that the company follows regulations). Its content was widely criticized by employees, considered ” abject and insulting“. The claimed the deal was grossly exaggerated.

The Wall Street Journal reveals that this email has actually written by Bobby Kotick himself to be sent as Townsend in order to benefit from its kind, simply. Obviously, that’s a good woman who defends the internal practices of the company and claims exaggeration. On this subject, Activision states that Kotick “takes full responsibility for this incident and regrets it” and does not want Townsend “to be blamed for this error”.

And with all that, we say to ourselves that the management committee could only make one decision: release Kotick. No of course not. He supports it on the contrary. It is true that the poor need it.

Activision Blizzard’s Board of Directors confirms their commitment to making Activision Blizzard the most welcoming and inclusive company in the industry. Under the leadership of Bobby Kotick, the company is already implementing changes to set an example for the industry, including a zero tolerance policy against harassment, a dedication to significantly increasing harassment. percentages of women and non-binary people in our workforce and significant internal and external investments to accelerate opportunities for diverse talent. The Committee remains confident that Bobby Kotick has properly handled the workplace issues brought to his attention.

Last August, Bobby Kotick declared that all those found guilty of improper conduct or who would participate in blocking ongoing investigations would be punished. For more than 20 employees were made redundant, including the president of Blizzard J. Allen Brack.

Bobby Kotick remains in office.

Since the announcement of the management committee to support its CEO and in just a few hours, several hundred employees gathered in front of the company premises to demand the resignation of Kotick.

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