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.