TECHNOLOGY

Report: Activision Blizzard shed 37 employees during misconduct scandal

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The Wall Street Journal today released a new report on the situation at Activision Blizzard. According to this report, the company has either fired or “pushed out” 37 people since last July. Presumably this is part of the company’s efforts to address its culture of sexual harassment and misconduct.

Allegedly Activision Blizzard collected 700 reports from employees about the company’s situation. It intended to release a summary over the holidays, but CEO Bobby Kotick allegedly withheld the report, supposedly because it would make the problem “seem bigger than is already known,” the Journal said.

Last December, COO Daniel Alegre published a letter acknowledging “the need to share more information openly as a company” and promising change going forward.

Activision Blizzard spokeswoman Helaine Klasky confirmed that 37 people had left the company and 44 had been disciplined following the company’s investigation. This investigation began in July, after the company was sued by California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Among many other reports, one alleges that Kotick knew about several of the incidents of workplace harassment and discrimination and failed to inform the board of directors. The board has since affirmed its support of Kotick. Klasky also noted the 700 number included complaints not related to harassment.

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Last week, Lego announced that it was putting its Overwatch set on hold to review its partnership with Activision. A spokesperson expressed “concerns about the progress being made to address continuing allegations regarding workplace culture, especially the treatment of female colleagues and creating a diverse and inclusive environment.” The heads of all three console manufacturers — Phil Spencer, Doug Bowser, and Jim Ryan — have also expressed discomfort with how the company has dealt with its own culture. Klasky said Activision Blizzard is communicating its changes to Lego.

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