Activision Blizzard Creates “Workplace Accountability Committee” in Response to Harassment Complaints

What just happened? Activision Blizzard announced this week that it is setting up a “workplace accountability committee” to try and resolve the company’s reported concerns about workplace harassment. This is the latest in a series of responses to several lawsuits and investigations accusing many high profile employees of discrimination against female employees. All three game console makers have expressed concern over the situation, and the CEO has said his departure is not impossible.

Activision Blizzard announcement he appointed two independent directors — Dawn Ostroff and Reveta Bowers — to the new committee. The company is also looking for a third “diverse director” to add to the board of directors. The press release adds that CEO Bobby Kotick will provide frequent updates on progress and Activision will ask management to develop performance indicators to show their progress. The company has already been organizing assessments since October.

Employees have previously criticized the creation of the committee because Ostroff and Bowers have been directors of Activision Blizzard for years and don’t trust company insiders to watch themselves. According to a senior UI engineer for World of Warcraft, employees demand for someone who is not under the control of the company.

Since the summer, Activision Blizzard has been involved in a state of California sexual harassment lawsuit, a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation, and an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint accusing the company of allowing a culture of “frat”. boy ”who discriminated against female employees. Last week, the Wall Street Journal published a detailed report alleging that Kotick had known about the harassment for much longer than previously thought.

Since then, a petition from employees demanding the dismissal of Kotick has reached over 1,800 signatures, and a group of activist investors also called for Kotick’s resignation. So far, the company’s board has supported Kotick.

Executives from all three console makers say they are concerned about the reports. The PlayStation CEO has expressed disappointment with Activision Blizzard’s defense of Kotick, and the Xbox chief said they are currently reassessing their relationship with the company. More recently, Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser mentioned that the company has took action and consider others.

According to the WSJ, Kotick told senior executives in a meeting that he could to resign if the changes did not happen quickly enough in the company. Many other high-ranking employees have already left in recent months, including the president of Blizzard, a general counsel and high-level game designers.

Image credit: The network of pop culture geeks (CC BY 2.0)

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