Activision Blizzard shareholders call for CEO Bobby Kotick's resignation

Two longest-standing board members also under fire.

A group of Activision Blizzard shareholders has called for the resignation of CEO Bobby Kotick in a letter to the company's board of directors.

The letter follows a damning report from the Wall Street Journal that claims Kotick was aware of sexual misconduct within the company.

It also follows a walkout from Activision Blizzard staff in protest.

"In contrast to past company statements, CEO Bobby Kotick was aware of many incidents of sexual harassment, sexual assault and gender discrimination at Activision Blizzard, but failed either to ensure that the executives and managers responsible were terminated or to recognize and address the systematic nature of the company's hostile workplace culture," the shareholders wrote in a joint letter from the Strategic Organising Center (SOC) Investment Group, shared with the Washington Post.

The letter is also calling for the resignation of Brian Kelly (chairman of the Activision Blizzard board of directors) and Robert Morgado (lead independent director). They are the two longest-standing members of the board: Kelly since 1995 and Morgado since 1997.

In the letter, shareholders said that if Kotick, Kelly and Morgado didn't step down, the group would not vote for the re-election of the current directors on the board at the next annual shareholders meeting in June, and would urge other shareholders to do the same.

"After the new revelations, it's clear that the current leadership repeatedly failed to uphold a safe workplace - a basic function of their job," said SOC executive director Dieter Waizenegger in an interview.

"Activision Blizzard needs a new CEO, board chair, and lead independent director with the expertise, skill set and conviction to truly change the company's culture. We need to really have a reset button on the board."

Activision Blizzard's board of directors has already issued a statement defending Kotick, saying it "remains confident" in Kotick's "leadership, commitment and ability".

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Ed Nightingale

Ed Nightingale

News reporter

Ed is Reporter at Eurogamer, with an interest in streaming, people and communities, and giving a voice to marginalised people.

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