A new report from The Wall Street Journal say that Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick informed staff that he would consider stepping down if he is unable to fix the company’s current workplace situation in a timely fashion. This is according to comments he is supposedly made during a meeting on Friday, November 19th (with “senior managers at Blizzard).
The sources with this information told The Wall Street Journal that Kotick said he would think about leaving if problems were not resolved “with speed.” A spokesperson for Activision Blizzard did not repsond to WSJ’s request for comment.
According to the report, Activision Blizzard had “a series of internal meetings” in late November, were Kotick and other executives spoke on improvements to the company’s workplace culture. Mike Ybarra, Blizzard’s current replacement for former president J. Allen Brack, was among the senior managers at the meeting. Engineer Violet Klorer praised Ybarra for answering “hard” questions about Blizzard.
Jen Oneal recently served alongside Ybarra before deciding to resign. She expressed a lack of faith in Blizzard’s ability to make change. There was also a report that Oneal was only offered equal pay after she announced plans to leave.
According to the WSJ report, executives at Activision Publishing acknowledged in a meeting that some employees would not be satisfied unless Kotick resigned. More than 1,700 of the staff, or close to 17% of the company’s total workforce, have signed a petition calling for Kotick to resign. During these meetings, Kotick told staff he was ashamed of what happened under his leadership and apologized for how he handled certain events–insiders claimed.
The report also said Activision Blizzard’s board of directors is tossing around the possibility of creating a “workplace excellence committee.” No internal investigation around Kotick is underway as of yet.
Activision Blizzard’s stock prices has been suffering since the initial WSJ report was released. The company’s stock has been on a slippery slope since the state of California first sued back in July.
After the latest developments broke, Jim Ryan from Sony and Phil Spencer from Microsoft have stated they are re-evaluating their business dealings with Activision Blizzard. Also, the Girls Who Code organization announced it’s dropping Activision Blizzard due to the ongoing issues.
Activision Blizzard’s board of directors continues to stand behind Bobby Kotick throughout these issues.