Activision Blizzard Fires 20 Employees, Reprimands 20 More Following Sexual Harassment Allegations
Individuals in question include game developers and some supervisors.
Note: Activision Blizzard is still under investigation by the state of California for serious harassment charges.
It would appear at least some progress is being made regarding the sexual harassment complaints at Activision Blizzard. According to a report in the Financial Times, the company sent a letter to staff earlier today stating that it has fired 20 employees as a result of their own months-long investigation that uncovered “misconduct across several parts of the business”. The letter also states that 20 more individuals were reprimanded. What that entails was not explicitly stated, nor was which employees were involved.
According to the report, Activision’s Chief Compliance Officer Frances Townsend, (Editor's Note: inexplicably still at ABK,) did note that the list includes game developers and supervisors. She also notes that no one from the board or senior management was fired.
As far as determining which employees to let go and which to reprimand, the determination was based on whether or not an individual showed “patterns” of misbehavior and which employees were involved in “one-off” incidents. Obviously, the former group was let go while the company hopes to address the latter with training. It is noted that many of the incidents looked at took place at off-site events with alcohol in play, like conventions, but the company acknowledges that these incidents will impact behavior at the office.
Other issues addressed in today’s letter are plans to expand the company’s ethics and compliance team in order to create a “more accountable workplace”. That said, Blizzard still has yet to address the four primary demands made by employees when they walked out in August, including expanding diversity and inclusion, addressing the gender pay gap, and ending mandatory arbitration. It appears this is something that Townsend can do, however, as she stated that additional changes are coming and that Kotic and the board, “gave [her] a blank check.”
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About the Author
QuintLyn is a long-time lover of all things video game related will happily talk about them to anyone that will listen. She began writing about games for various hobby sites a little over ten years ago and has taken on various roles in the games community.
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