Activision Blizzard employees, contractors call for CEO Bobby Kotick's removal

Blizzard Entertainment Hq
Blizzard Entertainment Hq (Image credit: Carli Velocci / Windows Central)

Update 5:00 p.m. ET: The petition is now up to over 1,000 signatures.

What you need to know

  • Over 500 Activision Blizzard workers, both employees and contractors, have signed a petition.
  • The petition states a lack of faith in Kotick as CEO and calls for him to step down.
  • The petition also calls for the shareholders outside of Kotick to be allowed to vote in a new CEO.

Over 500 Activision Blizzard employees and contractors signed a petition on Thursday calling for the removal of CEO Bobby Kotick, as shared by ABetterABK workers' collective on Twitter. This comes after a report from the Wall Street Journal indicated that Kotick knew of and helped cover up cases of sexual harassment.

"We ask that Bobby Kotick remove himself as CEO of Activision Blizzard, and that shareholders be allowed to select the new CEO without the input of Bobby, who we are aware owns a substantial portion of the voting rights of the shareholders," the petition reads. Activision Blizzard is currently facing a lawsuit, alleging that the company has fostered a sexist workplace environment and allowed abusive behavior to go unpunished.

The ABK Worker's Alliance already staged a walkout the day the news broke, the second time that employees have walked out of Activision Blizzard in protest of leadership's actions.

Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan stated that he was "disheartened and frankly stunned" by the recent report. The Activision Blizzard board of directors are standing with Kotick, stating that "The Board remains confident that Bobby Kotick appropriately addressed workplace issues brought to his attention."

Former Blizzard co-lead Jen Oneal was not paid as much as fellow co-lead Mike Ybarra, the report also stated. Oneal allegedly shared a lack of faith in Activision Blizzard to remedy the situation, claiming that she had also been sexually harassed during her time at the company.

Update 5:00 p.m. ET: More employees sign petition

The ABetterABK workers' collective Twitter account confirmed this afternoon that the number of employees that have signed the petition is now at more than 1,000.

The company has around 9,500 employees, so this accounts for a major percentage of workers.

The alliance also posted a link to a petition that non-workers can sign. At the time of this writing, it's at over 3,500 signatures.

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.