Bobby Kotick the CEO of Activision Blizzard issued a statement yesterday to the employees at Blizzard and the public addressing the recent harassment allegations at Blizzard, along with plans for the company moving into the future.
1. “We are launching a new zero-tolerance harassment policy company-wide.” Kotick said that warnings were sometimes issued in the past for harassment complaints. Going forward, such claims, if found to be substantiated by an investigative process, will result in termination of the offender. As previously reported, 20 employees have been let go from the company over the past few months, but 20 were also “reprimanded” after investigations, which seems to contradict this new policy.
2. “We will increase the percentage of women and non-binary people in our workforce by 50% and will invest $250 million to accelerate opportunities for diverse talent.” Kotick said that approximately 23% of its global workforce identifies as female or non-binary. The quarter of a billion dollars will be invested over the next 10 years and will include programs already in place, such as ABK Academy, and new initiatives.
3. “Based on feedback from employees, we are waiving required arbitration of sexual harassment and discrimination claims.” A key point in workers’ demands for “A Better ABK,” forced arbitration will no longer be required in such cases.
4. “We will continue to increase visibility on pay equity.” According to Kotick, women at ABK actually earned slightly more than men in comparable positions, and ABK will report such numbers annually.
5. “We will provide regular progress updates.” This will include quarterly status updates, as well as “a dedicated focus on this vital work in our annual report to shareholders.”
Kotick also said that he will be reducing his own pay and compensations to the minimum legal salary within Californian law, and will only be paid $62,500 in the coming year (Kotick made $150M last year), which includes salary and all other bonuses and benefits.
Kotick’s statement comes just days before Activision Blizzard’s third-quarter financial conference call which is scheduled for November 2nd.