Activision Blizzard has got rid of nearly 40 employees over workplace misconduct incidents since last summer.
In July 2021, the company was sued by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing because of its reported failure to handle sexual harassment and discrimination against female employees.
In a bid to combat allegations of workplace toxicity and a failure to tackle the issue, the company launched an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and other misconduct.
According to the Wall Street Journal’s sources, Activision has received around 700 reports from employees concerning workplace misconduct and other issues since last July—a figure the publisher disputes—and has so far reviewed about 90% of them.
Activision Blizzard did however confirm that 37 employees have “exited” the company and a further 44 have been disciplined as part of its investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and other misconduct.
The WSJ claims Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick delayed plans to release a summary of these actions before Christmas as it could make the situation look even worse than was already known.
Activision Blizzard’s share price has fallen nearly 30% since late July and almost 20% of its approximately 10,000 employees have signed a petition calling for Kotick to resign – something he reportedly told senior managers he would do if he couldn’t “quickly fix” the culture problems at the company.
The WSJ claimed in November that Kotick was aware of multiple sexual misconduct allegations at Activision, some of which it’s claimed he withheld from the company’s board, which has continued to back him.
An Activision spokesperson told the publication this month that “the Board’s support for Bobby is unchanged, and it is pleased with the commitment and leadership Bobby has demonstrated so far” in making changes.
In a New York Times interview published last week, Xbox boss Phil Spencer claimed the platform holder had changed how it does “certain things” with Activision in the wake of recent allegations, but said he doesn’t think it’s his job “to punish other companies” for their transgressions.
Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser and Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan have also expressed concern at Activision Blizzard’s response to sexual harassment allegations, although unlike Spencer, neither have spoken about the matter in any great deal publicly.
Lego recently said it was delaying plans to launch the latest in its series of Overwatch sets as it was reviewing its relationship with Activision Blizzard.