Bobby Kotick was again defended by Activision Blizzard leadership last night, during a company meeting where employees were told its new zero-tolerance policy would not apply to claims made this week against its CEO.
The all-hands gathering had been advertised as a place for employees to question the company's management, following this week's devastating report which detailed numerous alleged instances of sexual assault and harassment at Activision Blizzard, and which investigated Kotick's involvement in dealing with various cases.
But staff heard little new, GameDeveloper reported, citing sources on the call who said that pre-screened questions were given answers repeating the company's pre-stated defences. There was apparently nothing to suggest Activision Blizzard execs would not continue to stand by Kotick in the short-term.
When asked whether Activision Blizzard's zero-tolerance policy to harassment - something Kotick only announced last month - would apply to Kotick himself, staff were told no.
Activision Blizzard execs said they did not "have evidence" of Kotick's own alleged harassment of employees (such as the time he is claimed to have threatened to kill a staff member) as these occurred over a decade ago.
Employees were also told that the company's upcoming Thanksgiving break had been extended, something staff suspected was an attempt to dampen further criticism.
But pressure on Kotick remains - and as we learned last night, it is not just coming from those within Activision Blizzard. Jim Ryan, boss of PlayStation, reportedly expressed "deep concern" over this week's Activision Blizzard allegations. "We do not believe their statements of response properly address the situation," Ryan told staff members in an unprecedented email.
A group of Activision Blizzard shareholders have asked for Kotick's removal - a sentiment expressed by some of the 150 staff members who organised a walkout earlier this week.
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