The Wall Street Journal reported that Activision CEO Bobby Kotick allegedly knew about serious allegations of employee misconduct for years but kept board members in the dark about the incidents, adding to a slew of scrutiny facing the video game behemoth since California authorities sued the company in July over allegations of widespread harassment and discrimination.
Despite telling directors that he was ignorant of numerous allegations of misconduct, Kotick received an email from an attorney in July 2018 threatening legal action and alleging that her client, a former Activision worker, was raped by a male supervisor in 2016 and 2017, according to the WSJ, which cited the email and unnamed sources familiar with the matter. According to the claimed email, which Forbes has not seen, the female employee reported the instances to human resources and other superiors, but no action was taken.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Activision struck an out-of-court agreement with the worker months after the lawyer’s note; the terms of the arrangement are undisclosed. The Securities and Exchange Commission started an inquiry into Activision’s working procedures and the disclosures the company made regarding recent misbehavior charges in September, and Kotick, 58, is one of several top Activision executives who have been subpoenaed.
Despite being up more than 2 before the Tuesday announcement, Activision’s stock had down about 7 by 1230p.m. ET. Activision replied in a statement that the study”presents a deceptive perspective” of the firm and its CEO, claiming that” instances of sexual misbehavior brought to (Kotick’s) attention were handled upon.”In the months since California regulators sued the video game titan over allegations of rampant sexual misconduct and other discriminative practices, Activision, the world’s largest video game firm by revenue, has faced an enhancing reckoning. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing said in an action filed on July 20 that the company’s top directors engaged in a”pervasive frat boy” culture that generated a” parentage ground for importunity and demarcation against women.” Initially, the firm claimed that the allegations were” misrepresented, and in numerous cases inaccurate.”” denying the allegations in a statement that sparked a counterreaction among staff. This summer, more than 1500 workers walked out in protest, and numerous further signed a letter criticizing management’s response to the charges. Activision has already abjured its response, with CEO Bobby Kotick calling the initial statement” tone deaf” and promising to look into “every” allegation of misconduct.