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Activision’s Bobby Kotick Apologises For Company’s Initial Response To Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, has issued an apology to staff for the publishing giant’s initial ‘tone deaf’ response to the sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit issued last week.

Speaking in a letter published on Activision’s investor site, Kotick apologised for not providing “the right empathy and understanding” in the company’s initial response.

Our initial responses to the issues we face together, and to your concerns, were, quite frankly, tone deaf. It is imperative that we acknowledge all perspectives and experiences and respect the feelings of those who have been mistreated in any way. I am sorry that we did not provide the right empathy and understanding.

In addition, he also outlined five actions to take in order for Activision to achieve “long-lasting chang”:

  1. Employee Support. We will continue to investigate each and every claim and will not hesitate to take decisive action. To strengthen our capabilities in this area we are adding additional senior staff and other resources to both the Compliance team and the Employee Relations team.

  2. Listening Sessions. We know many of you have inspired ideas on how to improve our culture. We will be creating safe spaces, moderated by third parties, for you to speak out and share areas for improvement.

  3. Personnel Changes. We are immediately evaluating managers and leaders across the Company. Anyone found to have impeded the integrity of our processes for evaluating claims and imposing appropriate consequences will be terminated.

  4. Hiring Practices. Earlier this year I sent an email requiring all hiring managers to ensure they have diverse candidate slates for all open positions. We will be adding compliance resources to ensure that our hiring managers are in fact adhering to this directive.

  5. In-game Changes. We have heard the input from employee and player communities that some of our in-game content is inappropriate. We are removing that content.

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The lawsuit was filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) last week, which claims that, after a two-year investigation, it “found evidence” that Activision Blizzard “discriminated against female employees in terms and conditions of employment, including compensation, assignment, promotion, termination, constructive discharge and retaliation.”

[Source – Activision]