National Legal and Policy Center Demands Coca-Cola Remove Bobby Kotick From Board of Directors
30/11/2021 à 16:43
The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) has
written a letter
demanding that Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick be removed from the Coca-Cola board of directors. Addressed to Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO James Quincey, the letter cites an article by the Wall Street Journal earlier this month which placed the blame for Activision's cultural issues solely at Kotick's feet, along with pieces of the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing's lawsuit, and Jen Oneal's revelation that she was paid less than co-lead Mike Ybarra. Ending with a note calling the Coca-Cola corporation's previous political statements hypocritical, the NLPC is calling this "an opportunity to do the right thing."
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Mr. Quincey, you have not hesitated to involve the Company in controversial public policy issues, even when significant portions of our customers, shareholders and business partners have disagreed with your views.
For instance, you made misinformed and inflammatory allegations about the Georgia governor and legislature for passing the state’s Election Integrity Act of 2021. You called the new law “unacceptable.”
Sexual harassment in the workplace is unacceptable. There exists no constituency in favor of sexual harassment, except perhaps among corporate executives who cover for each other.
It is time for you to confront Bobby Kotick’s continued membership on the Coca-Cola board.
Under your leadership, the Coca-Cola brand has been diminished as you have criticized this country and its institutions, all while remaining silent about genocide in China and human rights abuses in dozens of nations where Coca-Cola products are sold.
Your hypocrisy has not gone unnoticed. Virtue-signaling and pandering to the loudest political activists is not a replacement for real leadership.
Earlier this month, the SOC Investment Group similarly
called for Kotick to step down
as CEO of Activision Blizzard, though it's important to recognize that these are relatively small investors seeking to influence opinion, rather than affect change through their own voting power. While the SOC represents a combined 4.8 million shares of Activision Blizzard stock, which sounds like a big number, that only makes up about 0.61% of Activision Blizzard's 778.9 million shares. By contrast, the last time the National Legal and Policy Center
made a shareholder proposal
in 2006, it only held about 52 of
Coca-Cola's 4.32 billion shares
While the Coca-Cola has made no response, and probably won't given how minor the NLPCs influence is within the company, removing Kotick from its board would be a bold step and the first real repercussions we've seen, despite the number of other corporations distancing themselves from Activision - including and
Nintendo of America
. At the very least, it would certainly endear Coca-Cola to gamers more than their lackluster
"Real Magic" marketing campaign
National Legal and Policy Center
is a right-leaning non-profit group that monitors and reports on the ethics of public officials, supporters of liberal causes, and labor unions in the United States. The Center files complaints with government agencies, legally challenges what they view as abuse and corruption, and publishes reports. From their website,
"We recognize that the bigger the government, the more opportunities for corruption; and the more intervention in the economy, the more reason for special interests to seek influence. We believe that the best way to promote ethics is to reduce the size of government."
For his part, Bobby Kotick has been
a Director of The Coca-Cola Company
since 2012, and issued a
video message to employees
in response to the Journal's article, while the Activision board of directors made their own
statement in support
of the long-time CEO.
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