Activision Blizzard’s Solution To The Bobby Kotick Issue? Another Committee
And Nintendo Joins Xbox and PlayStation in denouncing the ongoing insanity at ABK.
Just in case you were wondering how determined Activision Blizzard is to hold on to Bobby Kotick despite all the allegations and despite their tanking stock, their latest move might be the indicator you’re looking for. Last night…rather late last night at that…Activision Blizzard dropped a new press release on the Activision site announcing a new “Workplace Responsibility Committee”.
This committee, chaired by Dawn Ostroff, is intended to “oversee [Activision Blizzard’s] progress in successfully implementing its new policies, procedures, and commitments to improve workplace culture and eliminate all forms of harassment and discrimination”. To do this, the committee will receive reports from key executives at the company including CEO Bobby Kotick along with the Chief People Officer and Chief Compliance Officer. The committee will then relay this to the board of executives in regular briefs. Basically, there will be a lot of briefing going on and Kotick will be central to it.
As for the committee itself, as mentioned, it will be chaired by Dawn Ostroff who has been an independent director in the company since last year. Also on the committee will be Reveta Bowers, an independent director since 2018, so at least there are a couple of women on there, I guess. The press release also states that the company plans to add a “new, diverse director to the Board”. Obviously, “diverse” is likely open to interpretation.
That aside, the whole thing has a bit of an "Oroboros" thing going on as the people reporting to the committee are on the board the committee reports to. It’s difficult to believe that reporting things you’re involved in to yourself through an additional party is going to actually have any impact on your own behavior. Perhaps the committee’s ability to bring in “outside consultants or advisers, including independent legal counsel” will have some impact. Still, it somehow seems this move won’t go as far to reassure the employees that the company is actually trying to fix things and actually doing what thousands of them are demanding: getting rid of Kotick. Even barring that move, it seems incredibly unwise to have anyone currently being accused of not only knowing about the sexual harassment going on at Activision but helping to cover it up for years directly involved in this process. This is apparently how you fix things "with speed".
Outside the company, the entire affair is continuing to draw comments from other big-name developers. In fact, at this point, all three of the major console makers have weighed in on the matter with Nintendo’s Doug Bowser sending an email to Nintendo of America staff stating:
”Along with all of you, I’ve been following the latest developments with Activision Blizzard and the ongoing reports of sexual harassment and toxicity at the company. I find these accounts distressing and disturbing. They run counter to my values as well as Nintendo’s beliefs, values and policies.” According to Fanbyte, who received confirmation from Nintendo’s PR that the email is genuine, Bowser also went on to state that the company has been “in contact with Activision, have taken action and are assessing others.”
It’s possible that these statements from the console companies resulted in Activision’s latest move, in an effort to appease business partners they’d just really rather not lose.
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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