Six state treasurers in the United States are putting pressure on Activision Blizzard by calling on the company to take meaningful action over harassment allegations, unequal pay and discrimination.
Treasurers from California, Oregon, Delaware, Nevada, Massachusetts and Illinois wrote a joint letter to Activision Blizzard on November 23, asking its board of directors for a meeting to discuss its response to “the challenges and investment risk exposures that face Activision“, Axios reports.
The treasurers also stated in the letter that they would “weigh” giving support to a call made last month by shareholder group SOC, which threatened to vote against re-election of the company’s directors next year if CEO Bobby Kotick didn’t resign.
State treasurers manage their state’s investments, which are often invested in things like public pensions. As such, depending on how much they have invested in Activision Blizzard, their calls could have something of an impact.
“We’re concerned that the current CEO and board directors don’t have the skillset, nor the conviction to institute these sweeping changes needed to transform their culture, to restore trust with employees and shareholders and their partners,” Illinois state treasurer Michael Frerichs said in a statement to Axios.
Massachusetts treasurer Deborah Goldberg added: “This particular case has been waiting for the board to step in and do an investigation. A true investigation, an outside investigator. And, I mean, what was it, two weeks ago that they said they stand by the CEO?”
Last month a Wall Street Journal report alleged that Kotick was aware of multiple sexual misconduct allegations at Activision Blizzard, and also accused him of personally mistreating several female employees.
Activision Blizzard is currently facing multiple regulatory investigations over alleged sexual assaults and harassment of female employees, much of which has centred around World of Warcraft developer Blizzard.
However, the Wall Street Journal report claimed that instances of sexual assault and mistreatment have been widespread at the company, including at Call of Duty development studios Treyarch and Sledgehammer Games.
Following the report, Nintendo of America boss Doug Bowser, PlayStation chief Jim Ryan and Xbox head Phil Spencer all sent separate emails to their respective staff expressing concern at Activision’s response to sexual harassment allegations.
Kotick has reportedly told senior managers he would be willing to resign if he can’t “quickly fix” the culture problems at the company.