Activision Blizzard's Self-Investigation Not-Surprisingly Turned Up Nothing
Ahead of two crucial votes on Tuesday, the board makes a bold statement: we found nothing wrong.
In a securities filing Thursday afternoon, Activision Blizzard’s board of directors made an interesting claim: They investigated themselves, and found no wrongdoing.
The document submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is seemingly the company’s answer to a November Wall Street Journal article that reported on long-time CEO Bobby Kotick’s knowledge of internal issues involving sexual abuse and his alleged decision to withhold information from the board. Those directors now argue that neither Kotick nor any other senior executive withheld anything — and finger-pointed at the media, whom they allege unfairly treated the company and sullied its reputation in the process.
“The Company has been subject to an unrelenting barrage of media criticism that attempts to paint the entire Company (and many innocent employees) with the stain of a very small portion of our employee population who engaged in bad behavior and were disciplined for it," the directors wrote. “Much of this originated with the highly inflammatory, made-for-press allegations of the DFEH.”
What’s seemingly unclear, though, is what credibility do these directors—many of whom have advocated for Kotick’s direction and his bottom line over nearly the past two decades—hold.
Activision Blizzard’s old guard is turtling and doing its best to avoid any and all legal liability. The board’s jobs are on the line—with the annual meeting taking place on June 21 and shareholders needing to vote for or against their reelection. In the same meeting, the board’s advising shareholders to vote against a New York state proposal for a thorough harassment report.
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