Activision’s Bobby Kotick apologizes for company’s initial response to sexual harassment lawsuit

Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, has apologized to staff for the publisher’s initial “tone-deaf” response to the sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit filed last week.

In a letter published on Activision’s investor site, Kotick apologized for not displaying “proper empathy and understanding” in the company’s initial response.

Our initial reactions to the problems we face together, and to your concerns, were, frankly, tone-deaf. It is imperative that we recognize all perspectives and experiences and respect the feelings of those who have been mistreated in any way. I’m sorry we didn’t provide the proper empathy and understanding.

In addition, he also outlined five actions that need to be taken in order for Activision to achieve “long-term change”:

  1. Employee support. We will continue to investigate any claim and will not hesitate to take decisive action. To strengthen our capabilities in this area, we are adding additional senior staff and other resources to both the Compliance and Employee Relations teams.

  2. listening sessions. We know that many of you have inspired ideas to improve our culture. We will create safe spaces, moderated by third parties, where you can voice your opinion and share points for improvement.

  3. Personnel changes. We immediately evaluate managers and leaders across the company. Anyone found to have compromised the integrity of our claims review and appropriate enforcement processes will be terminated.

  4. Recruitment Practices. Earlier this year, I sent an email asking all hiring managers to make sure they have different lists of candidates for all open positions. We will add compliance tools to ensure that our hiring managers actually adhere to this guideline.

  5. Changes in the game. We’ve heard input from employee and player communities that some of our in-game content is inappropriate. We will remove that content.

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The lawsuit was filed last week by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), which claims it has “find evidence” after a two-year investigation that Activision Blizzard “discriminated against female workers on terms of employment, including compensation, assignment, promotion, termination, constructive dismissal and retaliation.”

[Source – Activision]