Besieged Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, who last week was the subject of staff walkouts and shareholder calls for his resignation, has reportedly said he will “consider leaving the company” if he can’t speedily address the harassment issues that have made headlines around the world this year.
The Wall Street Journal says Kotick met with Blizzard’s executives last Friday, and told them that “he would consider leaving the company if he can’t quickly fix the culture problems at the video game giant”.
The WSJ report adds:
Mr. Kotick, who has led Activision for three decades, stopped short of saying he would step down in a Friday meeting with executives of the company’s Blizzard Entertainment unit, but left the possibility open if misconduct issues across the company weren’t fixed “with speed,” these people said.
It’s also said that at a separate meeting on Friday “top executives of Activision Publishing relayed to Mr. Kotick that some employees wouldn’t be satisfied unless he resigned, according to those people”, and that “Mr. Kotick said he was ashamed of some of the incidents that had happened on his watch and apologised for how he has handled the unfolding problems”.
This is bullshit. Kotick took charge of a reborn Activision in 2008. Those “culture problems” he’s talking about are a systemic level of harassment, misogyny and abuse, fostered through years of cultural neglect and at times even reportedly committed and protected by Kotick himself.
The lawsuit which blew the doors off this whole thing became public knowledge in July. He has had months to address this. Instead during that time he oversaw the appointment of the first woman to co-lead Blizzard, only for her to quit after feeling “tokenized, marginalised, and discriminated against”, then saw it reported that Kotick himself took part in instances of abuse, including threatening in a voicemail to have one of his assistants killed.
He shouldn’t be “considering” quitting. He should have already done it.