Learn Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick’s letter addressing the harassment allegations

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The night earlier than a proposed worker walkout at Activision Blizzard, one which at the very least a part of the corporate is now actively encouraging by offering paid break day, firm CEO Bobby Kotick has issued a letter to all staff — and traders, and the general public — who’re watching the corporate battle with allegations of sexual harassment and office discrimination.

Eventually rely, practically one-third of the corporate’s staff signed an open letter condemning Activision Blizzard’s preliminary response to these allegations, and Kotick’s letter addresses that head-on: “Our preliminary responses to the problems we face collectively, and to your considerations, had been, fairly frankly, tone deaf,” he writes.

Kotick says a legislation agency, WilmerHale, will instantly assessment the corporate’s insurance policies “to advertise a respectful and inclusive office,” that Activision Blizzard “will proceed to analyze every declare and won’t hesitate to take decisive motion,” that it’ll fireplace anybody “discovered to have impeded the integrity of our processes for evaluating claims,” and that it’ll guarantee hiring managers are contemplating numerous slates of candidates for open jobs.

Additionally, the corporate plans to alter its video games. “We have now heard the enter from worker and participant communities that a few of our in-game content material is inappropriate. We’re eradicating that content material,” writes Kotick. Blizzard introduced earlier at present that World of Warcraft would take away “references that aren’t acceptable for our world,” with out specifying any explicit ones.

The entire state of affairs strongly reminds of Ubisoft, whose CEO Yves Guillemot additionally introduced the corporate could be cleansing home after an inadequate response to the preliminary allegations of sexual misconduct.

You may learn the total letter under:

July 27, 2021

This has been a troublesome and upsetting week.

I need to acknowledge and thank all those that have come ahead up to now and in latest days. I so recognize your braveness. Each voice issues – and we are going to do a greater job of listening now, and sooner or later.

Our preliminary responses to the problems we face collectively, and to your considerations, had been, fairly frankly, tone deaf.

It’s crucial that we acknowledge all views and experiences and respect the sentiments of those that have been mistreated in any manner. I’m sorry that we didn’t present the fitting empathy and understanding.

Lots of you’ve informed us that lively outreach comes from caring so deeply for the Firm. That so many individuals have reached out and shared ideas, solutions, and highlighted alternatives for enchancment is a robust reflection of how you take care of our communities of colleagues and gamers – and for one another. Making certain that we have now a secure and welcoming work surroundings is my highest precedence. The management staff has heard you loud and clear.

We’re taking swift motion to be the compassionate, caring firm you got here to work for and to make sure a secure surroundings. There isn’t any place wherever at our Firm for discrimination, harassment, or unequal remedy of any form.

We are going to do the whole lot attainable to ensure that collectively, we enhance and construct the type of inclusive office that’s important to foster creativity and inspiration.

I’ve requested the legislation agency WilmerHale to conduct a assessment of our insurance policies and procedures to make sure that we have now and preserve finest practices to advertise a respectful and inclusive office. This work will start instantly. The WilmerHale staff will probably be led by Stephanie Avakian, who’s a member of the administration staff at WilmerHale and was most lately the Director of the US Securities and Change Fee’s Division of Enforcement.

We encourage anybody with an expertise you consider violates our insurance policies or in any manner made you uncomfortable within the office to make use of any of our many present channels for reporting or to succeed in out to Stephanie. She and her staff at WilmerHale will probably be out there to talk with you on a confidential foundation and could be reached at [email protected] or 202-247-2725. Your outreach will probably be stored confidential. In fact, NO retaliation will probably be tolerated.

We’re dedicated to long-lasting change. Efficient instantly, we will probably be taking the next actions:

Worker Help. We are going to proceed to analyze every declare and won’t hesitate to take decisive motion. To strengthen our capabilities on this space we’re including extra senior workers and different sources to each the Compliance staff and the Worker Relations staff.

Listening Periods. We all know lots of you’ve impressed concepts on find out how to enhance our tradition. We will probably be creating secure areas, moderated by third events, so that you can converse out and share areas for enchancment.

Personnel Modifications. We’re instantly evaluating managers and leaders throughout the Firm. Anybody discovered to have impeded the integrity of our processes for evaluating claims and imposing acceptable penalties will probably be terminated.

Hiring Practices. Earlier this 12 months I despatched an electronic mail requiring all hiring managers to make sure they’ve numerous candidate slates for all open positions. We will probably be including compliance sources to make sure that our hiring managers are in reality adhering to this directive.

In-game Modifications. We have now heard the enter from worker and participant communities that a few of our in-game content material is inappropriate. We’re eradicating that content material.

Your well-being stays my precedence and I’ll spare no firm useful resource guaranteeing that our firm has probably the most welcoming, comfy, and secure tradition attainable.

You will have my unwavering dedication that we’ll enhance our firm collectively, and we would be the most inspiring, inclusive leisure firm on the planet.

Yours sincerely,

Bobby