More than 20 Activision Blizzard employees have been fired from the company since the ongoing sexual harassment lawsuit was first filed, per a report in the Financial Times [Paywall] and a note from Activision Blizzard chief compliance officer, Frances Townsend, on the company's corporate website.
"It doesn’t matter what your rank is, what your job is," said Townsend in an interview with the FT. "If you’ve committed some sort of misconduct or you’re a leader who has tolerated a culture that is not consistent with our values, we’re going to take action."
She went on to note that more than 20 people have, so far, been fired from the company as "more than 20 individuals faced other types of disciplinary action," though none of the employees that have been reprimanded or fired have been named.
The letter to employees noted that the company is eager to “earn our team’s confidence that, when they speak up, they will be heard” and wants to get things straight with staff “with a renewed urgency”.
In a note to staff, Townsend outlines some actions the company intends to make moving forward in order to better safeguard staff against harrassment and abuse. Three more positions are to be added to the company's Ethics and Compliance team – with another 19 positions coming in the future – in efforts to make Activision Blizzard a "more accountable workplace". There are also plans for Activision Blizzard to triple its training resources.
Townsend, it's worth pointing out, is the same person that sent an email to staff calling the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing's investigation "meritless" which prompted calls for a staff walkout at the company.
She was also forced off Twitter and deleted her account after criticising whistleblowers and blocking Activision Blizzard employees – not befitting someone listed as a sponsor for the women’s network at the studio.
Activision Blizzard is currently engaged with a series of lawsuits related to the company's alleged “frat boy culture” and various harassment claims.
As proceedings continue, the state of California has accused Activision Blizzard of "withholding" and "suppressing" evidence related to the case and issued a formal objection to Activision Blizzard’s $18 million settlement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
As a result of the initial lawsuit going public, so far, we've seen shareholders argue that they were "economically damaged" as a result of company executives intentionally withholding information on the sexual harassment lawsuit, and ex-Blizzard president J. Allen Brack and ex-HR executive, Jesse Meschuk, have left the company.