New York City pension funds sue Activision Blizzard

According to a recently disclosed copy of the complaint, New York City, pension fund authorities sued Activision Blizzard late last month in an attempt to compel the business to divulge information that could reveal whether CEO Bobby Kotick breached his fiduciary duties to investors.

The complaint, filed by the New York City Employees’ Retirement System and pension funds representing city teachers, police, and firefighters, seeks to open Activision Blizzard’s books to determine whether Kotick negotiated the company’s $68.7 billion sales to Microsoft as a “means to escape liability” stemming from allegations that he turned a blind eye to years of employee harassment claims within the company. The funds are Activision Blizzard investors who allege misconduct by Kotick and the company’s board.

The Office of the New York City Comptroller provided CNN with a public version of the complaint dated May 2. The original complaint was filed on April 26 in Delaware’s Court of Chancery. When asked for comment, the New York City comptroller’s office referred CNN to the city’s law department, which is litigating the litigation. A request for comment was not immediately responded to by the department. Axios was the first to report on the suit.

According to the complaint, Kotick stands to receive a $22 million bonus for meeting workplace culture goals that “almost identically track” the company’s settlement with the Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission earlier this year.

The suit is the latest legal stumbling block for Activision Blizzard, which is dealing with a slew of federal investigations and shareholder lawsuits stemming from allegations of workplace misbehavior.

The case stems from several demands for Activision Blizzard information by New York City pension officials since October 2021, and it claims the business has been insufficiently responsive. Board presentations, minutes, notes, and other papers connected to the Microsoft purchase, specifically Kotick’s role in the matter, are among the records currently sought by the officials.