SEC Subpoenas Activision-Blizzard Regarding Workplace Discrimination

CEO Bobby Kotick specifically mentioned in new report.

The Activision-Blizzard workplace misconduct saga continues, as the Wall Street Journal reports the Securities and Exchange Commission has subpoenaed the company, along with senior executives, regarding its internal handling of employee allegations of sexual harassment and workplace discrimination.

The story says the subpoena extends to several higher-ups within Activision-Blizzard’s ranks, including CEO Bobby Kotick. The SEC is asking for documents and minutes from the company’s board meetings since 2019, personnel files for six former employees, and separation agreements the company made with workers. On top of all of this, Koticks’ communications regarding the complaints that led to the company being sued by the state of California are also part of the subpoena.

All of this follows a now months-long public dispute between Activision-Blizzard and its employees after the state of California filed a lawsuit regarding the company’s “frat boy” culture, which allowed for harassment, pay discrimination, and poor treatment of female employees under the publisher. In the fallout since, workers have organized a walkout to protest working conditions, removed references to offending employees in games like World of Warcraft and Overwatch, and publicly discussed the state of the company through social campaigns like #ABetterABK.

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While some personnel changes have been made, the fight for better working conditions is ongoing and has even resulted in a second lawsuit alleging the company’s leadership has been interfering with workers’ attempts to organize by way of threats and intimidation. Whatever’s going on internally, it seems Activision-Blizzard is eager to get back to business as usual, and it shows in how the company is no longer hiding its logo from marketing material for games like Call of Duty: Vanguard.