Activision Blizzard Votes To Keep Bobby Kotick As CEO
There's no change at the top, as Activision Blizzard shareholders have voted by a wide margin to keep the divisive Bobby Kotick as CEO of the shamed publisher. It's been a year since a wave of allegations swept through Activision Blizzard and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing attempted to sue the gaming giant.
The past 12 months have been a roller coaster, and while it once looked like the publisher behind Call of Duty could be ousted by the industry, it was instead welcomed by the warm bosom of Microsoft. The record-breaking acquisition freed Activision Blizzard from the dog house and turned Kotick from Public Enemy No.1 into a seemingly immovable force. The latest vote only goes to prove this.
Will Bobby Kotick Remain Activision Blizzard CEO?
The latest Activision Blizzard filing confirms that shareholders have voted to keep Kotick as CEO. It's the same board that will vote whether Kotick is due a massive $22 million stock bonus. He could be due a huge payout if the board agrees that he's sufficiently tackled widespread complaints of harassment and discrimination.
It was only in November that some shareholders banded together and wrote an open letter calling for Kotick's resignation. This came after thousands of employees signed a petition and threatened to walk out over the entire Cosby Suite scandal. The usually bulletproof Kotick has since said that Activision Blizzard's response of calling the issues exaggerated was "tone-deaf."
What's Next For Activision Blizzard?
Elsewhere, the filing confirms that Activision Blizzard will "carefully consider" the shareholder vote that ruled in favour of an annual report on harassment. Although 67% of shareholders voted for the report, it isn't binding and Activision Blizzard doesn't have to take any action. In May, the board urged shareholders to vote against the report.
In a statement to Kotaku, ABK said, "Consistent with our ongoing commitments, we will carefully consider the proposal to enhance our future disclosures. Activision Blizzard remains deeply committed to a respectful, welcoming workplace for all colleagues." The report is supposed to make sure that Activision Blizzard is continuing to tackle any further allegations of a toxic workplace environment. Still, it's clear the higher-ups aren't a fan of this notion.
Speaking to the Washington Post, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli cheered, "Activision Blizzard needs to restore investor confidence and increase transparency on how it handles workplace harassment and discrimination. We expect swift action from the company on our concerns." Despite Kotick staying on for another term, it still sounds like there's trouble in paradise at ABK HQ.