On Thursday, October 25th, 2019 a Wall Street Journal report came out with allegations of sexual misconduct by Bobby Kotick. The article details some of the incidents that happened between 2005 and 2008 where he threatened to fire female employees who didn’t meet certain physical standards.
The “Blizzard Activision” is a report that was published by The Wall Street Journal. It discusses the departure of Jen Oneal from Activision Blizzard and Bobby Kotick ignoring harassment allegations. Read more in detail here: blizzard activision.
Instead of the now-common complaints about his compensation, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick is under fire again, this time by the Wall Street Journal, which claims that the long-time executive has been deeply involved with many reports of sexual harassment and discrimination infecting the once well-respected video game publisher. The story outlines multiple years of wrongdoing throughout Activision Blizzard’s development divisions, with Bobby Kotick presumably at the heart of it all, based on unidentified individuals within the firm.
Jen Oneal was dissatisfied with Activision’s leadership.
Blizzard Entertainment’s freshly elevated co-lead announced her abrupt resignation from the firm after just three months on the job, causing consternation. Despite being relatively new to the studio, having joined Blizzard that year as part of Activision’s plan to replace the studio’s struggling Classic Games Division, she had gained a great deal of goodwill for her leadership of Vicarious Visions and visibility as the first woman promoted to lead one of the business units, though she never embraced the public light as Mike Ybarra did.
The Wall Street Journal is a newspaper published in the United States. is a newspaper published in the United States. is a newspaper published in the United States., on the other hand, paints a different image, revealing an internal communication to Activision’s legal team in which Oneal expresses his doubts about the leadership’s ability to seriously address the poisonous culture that has infected Activision Blizzard. According to the Journal, the former CEO of Vicarious Visions, who began her career in Quality Assurance in the late 1990s, was extremely upset by her thirty years with the firm.
The Wall Street Journal
Jennifer Oneal, a longstanding employee at Activision, was appointed Blizzard’s co-head in August, making her the first woman to run one of the company’s business areas. The following month, she wrote an email to a member of Activision’s legal team, expressing her dissatisfaction with the firm’s leadership’s ability to change the culture, adding, “it was evident that the corporation will never prioritize our employees in the appropriate manner.”
Ms. Oneal said in the email that she had been sexually harassed at Activision earlier in her career, that she was paid less than her male equivalent at Blizzard, and that she wanted to negotiate her departure. Ms. Oneal, who is Asian-American and lesbian, added, “I have been tokenized, alienated, and discriminated against.”
Kotick Steps in to Save the Executives
After a night of drinking, a female employee accused Dan Bunting, then co-head of Activision’s Treyarch company, of sexually harassing her, sparking a now-famous incident. According to the Journal, despite the fact that an internal inquiry suggested Bunting be dismissed in 2019, Kotick personally pushed to keep the executive on board.
While human resources began reporting to the corporate office in 2019, an outside investigation in 2020 resulted in disciplinary measures rather than Bunting’s termination, according to an Activision spokesperson, and Kotick isn’t generally involved in the hiring, compensation, or termination decisions of most employees. Bunting departed the studio earlier this month as a result of the Journal’s inquiry into the story.
The Wall Street Journal
According to those acquainted with the event, Dan Bunting, co-head of Activision’s Treyarch studio, was accused of sexually assaulting a female colleague after a night of drinking in 2017. According to these individuals, Activision’s human resources department and other supervisors initiated an internal inquiry in 2019 and suggested that he be dismissed, but Mr. Kotick intervened to retain him. According to these persons, Mr. Bunting, who led Treyarch through the development of numerous popular Call of Duty games, was offered therapy and permitted to stay at the firm.
a vengeful millionaire
Another story that directly involves Kotick is really old news. The account of flight attendant Cythina Madvig, who sued Kotick in 2007 for wrongful termination after being dismissed in response to her sexual misconduct charges against pilot Phil Berg, is told in the Journal. Despite the fact that the incident received little attention at the time, it reappeared in 2010 as a consequence of a legal battle between Kotick and his initial legal advice, which ended in Kotick paying his former attorney approximately $1.5 million.
Despite the fact that the testimony is no longer available, the Journal quotes Kotick as saying “I’m going to destroy you” rather than settle with the defendant, which is very similar to a LA Times Blog post from 2010, in which an arbitrator recounts that “Mr. Kotick wanted to destroy the other side and not pay Ms. Madvig anything…. Mr. Kotick recognized that this was a bad business decision, but said that he was worth a half-billion dollars and didn’t mind spending any of it on legal bills.” “Mr. Kotick indicated he would not be extorted and that he would destroy the Plaintiff and her counsel and see to it that Ms. Madvig would never work again,” the same arbitrator claimed in another meeting.
While attorney Anthony Glassman disputed these claims, saying that “both the final award and appellate opinion contain numerous second-hand accounts of three-year-old private conversations and statements made during attorney-client meetings that Mr. Kotick did not make and thus are inaccurate, highly inflammatory, and taken out of context,” the quotes paint a picture of a powerful executive willing to throw his weight around to get what he wants. In another story with a similar premise, Kotick was accused of harassment when the CEO left a threatening voicemail for one of his assistants, in which he allegedly threatened to murder her.
The Wall Street Journal
According to those acquainted with the situation, one of his aides claimed in 2006 that he had harassed her, even threatening to murder her in a voice message. According to the sources, he resolved the case without going to court. “Mr. Kotick swiftly apologized 16 years ago for the clearly exaggerated and improper voice message, and he truly regrets the exaggeration and tone in his voice mail to this day,” an Activision representative said.
These are only a handful of the tales in The Wall Street Journal’s lengthy coverage of Activision Blizzard’s systematic discrimination and wrongdoing, and although we cannot verify all of the accusations, we strongly advise you to read the piece in its entirety and develop your own judgement. Whatever the situation may be, it is evident that toxicity exists inside Activision Blizzard. Whether Kotick’s strong comments and promises imply mischaracterization or a fresh beginning, the memory of a once-great video gaming behemoth is getting further tainted with each tale discovered.
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