Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick to take pay cut, announces company-wide changes

Activision Blizzard Share
Activision Blizzard Share (Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

What you need to know

  • Activision Blizzard is facing a lawsuit, alleging the company allowed sexist workplace behavior to persist.
  • Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick is taking a pay cut while introducing company-wide changes.
  • The ABetterABK worker's collective referred to this news as a "huge win" while continuing to push for reform.

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick announced on Thursday plans to take a pay cut and immediate company-wide changes, with a goal of having the "strictest harassment and non-retaliation policies of any employer." This comes as Activision Blizzard is facing a lawsuit, alleging that the company allowed abusive, sexist workplace behaviors to go unpunished.

The changes to Activision Blizzard include a zero tolerance harassment policy, increasing the number of women and non-binary people in the workplace, waiving arbitration of sexual harassment and discrimination claims, increased visibility on pay equity and providing regular updates on the progress of these changes. Specifically, any employees found to have harassed others under a protected category will be terminated immediately, instead of receiving a written warning.

"In some cases, people didn't consistently feel comfortable reporting concerns, or their concerns weren't always addressed promptly or properly. People were deeply let down and, for that, I am truly sorry," Kotick said.

Kotick's pay is being dropped to $62,500, which is the lowest amount allowed for a salaried employee under California law. Kotick is also requesting not to take any bonuses during this time. This will remain the case until until the board of directors sees these changes have been fully implemented.

The ABetterABK worker's collective referred to these changes as a "huge win" while noting that there is more work to do, including having the company investigation done by a neutral, unbiased third-party instead of WilmerHale.

Over 20 employees have been let go from Activision Blizzard so far, including the former game director of the upcoming Diablo 4, as well as the namesake for the now-renamed Overwatch hero McCree.

Samuel Tolbert
Freelance Writer

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.