Shortly after Activision Blizzard shareholders voted to approve a public report on its efforts to stop discrimination and harassment, was the re-election of Bobby Kotick to the board of directors.
So while the company was able to share compensation data, its past and current sexual harassment settlements and progress around resolving current and ongoing complaints, it also chose to retain its top executive, the grossly overpaid Bobby Kotick whose participation in maintaining Activision Blizzard’s toxic work culture and protecting its worst offenders has earned him much deserved scorn.
The vote was not without opposition. 534 million shareholders voted in favor of retaining Kotick among a list of proposed directors, but only 62.5 million voted against and 2 million abstained, allowing the proposal to pass. Whether Kotick will remain CEO of Activision Blizzard remains to be seen. The company is currently still in the process of being acquired by Microsoft.
Kotick will reportedly receive a “$15 million dollar golden parachute” following the purchase, to say nothing of the gains he will also receive in his stock options should Activision Blizzard’s share price increase following the deal. In previous reporting on Kotick, it was noted that he was expected to depart following the completion of the Microsoft deal, but after this development it is possible he will remain through 2023.
This is despite over employees and shareholders calling for his resignation. Last December, Kotick was accused of concealing what he knew about the company’s worst abusers and harassers, protecting them as well as issuing a death threat to one of his assistants. This development is certainly an exasperating one following other instances of bullshit that have occurred in the past year.
Just last week, Activision Blizzard published the results of its own internal investigation into harassment at the company. They concluded that while there were certainly individual instances of harassment, executive leadership was not guilty of any wrongdoing. In the same report, the company also accused the media for being unfair and inflammatory while effectively stating that any wrongdoing was the actions of a few bad apples.