Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick was allegedly aware that there had been reports of sexual misconduct at the video game company but had not informed the board of directors. According to a report by the Wall Street Journal the CEO was also aware of an alleged rape in 2018 but failed to inform the board. The share price of the company fell by more than six percent, on Tuesday, after the report by the Journal.
The company is under investigations about its practices at the workplace. It is also being investigated on how it handles allegations of sexual misconduct. It is also being probed for its discriminatory practices and reportedly has a pervasive frat boy culture.
In July 2021, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing had filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard. It said that the company had a “frat boy culture” and was a “breeding ground for harassment and discrimination against women.”
After the suit was filed, Blizzard President J. Allen Brack had left the company. He was allegedly aware of complaints against the company from years. He knew that several employees left the company because of sexual harassment from 2019.
Bobby Kotick is one among several top executives at Activision who has been served with subpoenas by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC has started an investigation in September this year and is looking into workplace practices at Activision. It is also probing the disclosures made by the company about recent allegations of misconduct.
Activision shares have seen a steep drop of almost 26 percent since the initial allegations of workplace harassment were first reported in mid July. These reports of misconduct washed away the profits gained by the video gaming company during the pandemic. It also obliterated about $19 billion in market value.
As of Monday’s close, the 59-year old CEO owned 4,094 Activision shares quoting FactSet, as per a report by CNBC, These shares are valued at about $285 million. An earlier report in WSJ said that he received a compensation package of more than $154 million in 2020.