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Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick Responds to the Wall Street Journal
22 days ago
scathing report by The Wall Street Journal
, which asserts that Bobby Kotick was fully aware of the reports of sexual harassment and discrimination within Activision Blizzard, and may have even had a hand in covering up for other executives,
the CEO shared a message with the company's employees
which reiterated his conviction to create the most welcoming and inclusive workplace.
The message references the actions taken by the company so far
to improve the company
, including cutting his own compensation, waiving mandatory arbitration, and pledging to increase the percentage of marginalized people within the company, but has an inescapable feeling of damage control, leading with a statement that the Journal's article
"paints an inaccurate and misleading view of our company, of me personally, and my leadership,"
which is suspiciously similar to the tone of Francis Townsend's email which called the California lawsuit
"a distorted and untrue picture of our company, including factually inaccurate, old, and out of context stories."
The message similarly glosses over the details of the Journal's accusations, such as Jen Oneal leaving due to lack of faith with the leadership or the claim that she was paid less than Mike Ybarra while serving in the same role as co-lead of Blizzard Entertainment, despite a
report from COO Daniel Alegre
last month claiming that women averaged one penny higher for every dollar of compensation awarded to men. while these contradictions may be deflection or simply Activison's favorite type of legalese, the words expressed in Kotick's message are in sharp contrast to reports in the media, reiterating the company's newfound desire to be a model work place and their zero tolerance policy for any kind of inappropriate behavior.
Today, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick shared a video message with the company's employees. Here is the transcript of his remarks:
"I want to talk with you today about our future and reiterate my conviction to create the most welcoming and inclusive workplace.
Over the last few months, so many of you have generously and candidly shared your experiences and your insights about the type of company you want us to be.
We’ve taken meaningful actions to improve our company and our culture. But there is more to do. To become the model workplace we all aspire to be, more change is required. But I am so confident we will get there.
There will, of course, be continued media attention about us and our industry over the next few months. In fact, there’s an article today that paints an inaccurate and misleading view of our company, of me personally, and my leadership.
I want to say two important things about this:
First, we are incredibly fortunate to have the most talented people in our industry all so committed to constant improvement. And I share this commitment.
The second thing I want to say is that anyone who doubts my conviction to be the most welcoming, inclusive workplace doesn’t really appreciate how important this is to me.
Creativity and inspiration thrives best in a safe, welcoming, respectful environment. There is no substitute for that. And staying true to our values, without exceptions, is the best way to retain our talent and to attract the new talent we need to achieve our great potential.
As I have made clear, we are moving forward with a new zero tolerance policy for inappropriate behavior -- and zero means zero. Any reprehensible conduct is simply unacceptable.
We have a chance to further enhance our culture and be the example other companies will follow. And we are so incredibly fortunate. Connecting and engaging the world through joy and fun is a powerful mission. Accomplishing this in a welcoming, inclusive workplace ensures we will achieve our mission with excellence.
Over the last few years our industry has had an uncomfortable spotlight that’s been illuminating opportunities for us to change. And we must all, including me, embrace this need for change, so we can bring our very best selves to the very best place to work.
Thank you for your commitment to a culture of respect, your appreciation for the unique talents we each possess, and for maintaining the very best environment for all of us to work.
For that, I am truly grateful."
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