Today, Activision Blizzard provided an update on recent initiatives to achieve its goal of “ensuring a workplace that is inspiring, equitable, and respectful to all,” and has commented on the recent subpoena received by the SEC.
Earlier today, it was reported the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has launched an investigation into Activision Blizzard. The agency subpoenaed the publisher and Kotick, for records related to employment, separation agreements, and communications between senior executives.
The government body is requesting records that go back to 2019 where it hopes to review communications between Activision Blizzard executives regarding the various complaints of sexual harassment and discrimination.
Activision Blizzard said in today’s statement it is complying with the SEC subpoena issued to the company and several current and former employees and executives regarding disclosures on employment matters and related issues. The company said it “is confident in its prior disclosures” and is cooperating with the SEC’s investigation.
Company CEO Bobby Kotick said in a statement that Activision Blizzard is committed to making the firm “one of the best, most inclusive places to work anywhere.”
”There is absolutely no place anywhere in our Company for discrimination, harassment, or unequal treatment of any kind,” said Kotick. “While we continue to work in good faith with regulators to address and resolve past workplace issues, we also continue to move ahead with our own initiatives to ensure that we are the very best place to work.
“We remain committed to addressing all workplace issues in a forthright and prompt manner.”
Kotick also said that the company continues to productively engage with regulators, including the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) with the goal of improving its workplace policies and procedures and ensuring compliance.
The Company is actively engaged in continued discussions with the EEOC and has cooperated with the EEOC’s investigation concerning certain employment practices.
Activision Blizzard has said it made a number of “important improvements” including significant changes to personnel, exiting a number of employees, and expanding compliance resources. In addition, it has refreshed its HR organization and, this week, a new chief people officer, Julie Hodges, will join the company from The Walt Disney Company. The company states it has also expanded training, performance management, and anti-harassment resources.
Back in July, Activision Blizzard was accused by the State of California for fostering a culture rife with discrimination, abuse, sexual harassment, and more complaints which were mainly centered on Blizzard. This led to some of those in higher positions leaving the company.
Since the allegations became public knowledge, Activision released public statements regarding the lawsuit and the accusations thrown at it by current and past employees. One came from the firm's main boss Bobby Kotick who promised the firm would "continue to investigate each and every claim," and that Activision would not hesitate to take decisive action.
Many former and current employees, however, stated at the time Activision Blizzard wasn’t doing enough to address the core problem. Staff across the company’s various units also formed a coalition calling out the CEO's decision to bring in a union-busting law firm to investigate the various claims, among other things.