Activision Blizzard Creates A “Workplace Responsibility Committee”

Activi­sion Bliz­zard has announced the for­ma­tion of a new com­mit­tee that will hope­ful­ly improve the com­pa­ny’s work­place cul­ture in the after­math of reports about sex­u­al harass­ment and dis­crim­i­na­tion. A recent report pub­lished by The Wall Street Jour­nal exposed CEO Bob­by Kotick of cov­er­ing up instances of sex­u­al harass­ment at the company. 

This new “Work­place Respon­si­bil­i­ty Com­mit­tee” is tasked with “imple­ment­ing its new poli­cies, pro­ce­dures, and com­mit­ments to improve work­place cul­ture and elim­i­nate all forms of harass­ment and dis­crim­i­na­tion at the com­pa­ny,” Activi­sion Bliz­zard stat­ed in a news release.

The chair­per­son of the com­mit­tee is Dawn Ostroff, a mem­ber of the Activi­sion Bliz­zard board since June 2020. Ostroff is cur­rent­ly the chief con­tent and adver­tis­ing busi­ness offi­cer at Spo­ti­fy. She also held exec­u­tive-lev­el posi­tions at Conde Nast, 20th Cen­tu­ry Fox, and The Walt Dis­ney Com­pa­ny. Reve­ta Bow­ers, anoth­er Activi­sion Bliz­zard board mem­ber, is also join­ing the com­mit­tee. Bow­ers has been on the board since 2018. She pre­vi­ous­ly worked at The Cen­ter for Ear­ly Edu­ca­tion for 44 years (from 1972–2016).

Activi­sion Bliz­zard is also look­ing into adding anoth­er mem­ber to the Board. “The com­pa­ny is work­ing to add a new, diverse direc­tor to the Board,” it said.

The Work­place Respon­si­bil­i­ty Com­mit­tee main job will be to “require man­age­ment to devel­op key per­for­mance indi­ca­tors and/or oth­er means to mea­sure progress and ensure accountability.”

Kotick and oth­er Activi­sion Bliz­zard exec­u­tives will give “fre­quent progress reports” to the com­mit­tee. The com­mit­tee will then share its find­ings “reg­u­lar­ly” with the Board of Direc­tors. This com­mit­tee may also work with “out­side con­sul­tants or advis­ers,” which might include inde­pen­dent legal teams. 

The Activi­sion Bliz­zard Board is com­mit­ted to ensur­ing a healthy work­place in which all employ­ees feel val­ued, safe, and respect­ed. Our audit com­mit­tee has been kept apprised of devel­op­ments, includ­ing the EEOC and DFEH inves­ti­ga­tions,” Activi­sion Bliz­zard said. “The Board sup­ports the numer­ous steps tak­en by man­age­ment since 2018 to improve work­place cul­ture, includ­ing cen­tral­iz­ing the human resources func­tion in 2019 to ensure greater con­sis­ten­cy and account­abil­i­ty, strength­en­ing and increas­ing train­ing, and, most recent­ly, improv­ing meth­ods for report­ing and respond­ing to com­plaints of harass­ment, dis­crim­i­na­tion, and retaliation.”

Activi­sion Bliz­zard’s Board of Direc­tors has been meet­ing bi-week­ly for “in-depth assess­ments” on the com­pa­ny’s efforts since Octo­ber. Mem­bers receive “detailed writ­ten week­ly reports” to track progress. The Board is also in full sup­port of Bob­by Kotick, even after the heat­ed report from WSJ

It is clear that cur­rent cir­cum­stances demand increased board engage­ment. For­ma­tion of the com­mit­tee and addi­tion­al future changes will help facil­i­tate addi­tion­al direct over­sight and trans­paren­cy and ensure that the com­pa­ny’s com­mit­ments to Activi­sion Bliz­zard’s work­force are car­ried out with urgency and impact. This has been a chal­leng­ing time across the com­pa­ny, but the board is con­fi­dent in the actions under­way to set the com­pa­ny up for future suc­cess,” it said.

I am a Platinum lover and an ex- Cod-aholic. I've been playing games since I was 5 years old and I refuse to quit, despite my mother's attempts to get me to. God of War and its successors are my all time favorite games.

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