Activision Blizzard Shareholder Group Calls For Bobby Kotick's Resignation

UPDATED: PlayStation boss says AB's response does not "properly address the situation."

Jason Winter
By Jason Winter, News Editor November 17, 2021
Share:

Hearthstone Doorways

A small portion of Activision Blizzard's shareholders are calling on CEO Bobby Kotick to resign, in light of the accusations made yesterday in an article in the Wall Street Journal. The Washington Post reports that shareholders represented by the Strategic Organizing Center Investment Group (SOC) sent a letter to the company's board of directors asking for Kotick and the two longest-serving members of the board of directors to resign by the end of the year.

"In contrast to past company statements, CEO Bobby Kotick was aware of many incidents of sexual harassment, sexual assault and gender discrimination at Activision Blizzard, but failed either to ensure that the executives and managers responsible were terminated or to recognize and address the systematic nature of the company’s hostile workplace culture," the letter read in part.

"After the new revelations, it’s clear that the current leadership repeatedly failed to uphold a safe workplace — a basic function of their job,” SOC executive director Dieter Waizenegger said. “Activision Blizzard needs a new CEO, board chair, and lead independent director with the expertise, skill set and conviction to truly change the company’s culture. We need to really have a reset button on the board.”

SOC was formerly known as CtW Investment Group, the group behind efforts to reduce Kotick's compensation. In total, it represents holders of 4.8 million shares in Activision Blizzard stock, less than one percent of the company's 779 million shares.

Even so, SOC's strong efforts (as CtW) led to Kotick nearly losing his outsized compensation earlier this year, and it's hard to imagine too many other shareholders feeling confident in his leadership after the current round of accusations. The Activision Blizzard board of directors, for its part, said that it's standing by Kotick, but as any sports fan knows, an owner saying he has "full confidence" in his embattled coach often fires that coach by year's end.

UDPATE: Sony's PlayStation chief Jim Ryan has voiced his opinion on the Activision Blizzard situation and Kotick's future, Bloomberg has learned. He said that he was "disheartened and frankly stunned to read" about the allegations and that he and his company "outreached to Activision immediately after the article was published to express our deep concern and to ask how they plan to address the claims made in the article. We do not believe their statements of response properly address the situation."

As for what it would take to remove Bobby Kotick as CEO, Fortune has the numbers on that, as well. If terminated "for cause," he would receive only $264,524 as a payout. If terminated "without cause," that number would balloon to $265,175,849, over 1,000 times more. If Kotick leaves of his own accord -- i.e. resigns -- he would likely negotiate a settlement between those two figures.

Termination for cause would require Activision Blizzard to prove that Kotick's actions as CEO involved "willful misconduct or gross negligence in connection with the performance of his duties that has caused or is highly likely to cause severe harm" or that he was "intentionally dishonest in the performance of his duties under his employment agreement and such dishonesty had a material adverse effect."

Share:
Got a news tip? Contact us directly here!

In this article: Blizzard, Activision.

About the Author

Jason Winter
Jason Winter, News Editor
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.

Discussion (1)

viper 6 months ago
Throwing everything and the kitchen sink at 'em over allegations.


You May Enjoy

The Cycle: Frontier Is Kicking Off Two-Week Pre-Season Before Its Official Launch In June

The Cycle: Frontier Is Kicking Off Two-Week Pre-Season Before Its Official Launch In June

And you'll get to keep your hard-earned progress when the game goes live!

By Anthony Jones - 6 hours ago
Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Teaser Video Reveals Release Date And Potential Info Dump Date

Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Teaser Video Reveals Release Date And Potential Info Dump Date

Task Force 141 is making a massive comeback with an info reveal potentially next month.

By Anthony Jones - 11 hours ago
The Pac-Man X Fortnite Collab Will Begin On June 2

The Pac-Man X Fortnite Collab Will Begin On June 2

Not sure what’s in store for Fortnite with this one, but hopefully Pac-Man and his four ghostly friends will all have a part to play.

By Aspen Pash - 1 day ago
Ubisoft’s Riders Republic Gets A Community Update

Ubisoft’s Riders Republic Gets A Community Update

The sports video game has not been forgotten…apparently.

By Aspen Pash - 2 days ago
Lord Of The Rings Online's Update 33.0.4 Rolls Out Season Two Rewards And Class Changes

Lord Of The Rings Online's Update 33.0.4 Rolls Out Season Two Rewards And Class Changes

Including a few localization improvements for German and French UIs.

By Anthony Jones - 6 days ago
Everquest II's Time-Locked Expansion Server, Varsoon, Rolls Into Beta Today

Everquest II's Time-Locked Expansion Server, Varsoon, Rolls Into Beta Today

Open for all fans to test and get an early look before its official launch.

By Anthony Jones - 2 weeks ago
See More
Live Giveaways