Bobby Kotick, Activision Blizzard CEO, sent employees a letter informing them of the steps the company and he will take to improve its image following multiple cases of sexual harassment and discrimination. Most notably, Kotick says that Activision Blizzard will employ a zero-tolerance harassment policy, waive arbitration in sexual harassment and discrimination claims, and the billion-dollar-net-worth CEO will take a massive pay cut earning only $62,500 per year in total compensation until the board of directors feels certain diversity, equity, and inclusion goals are met. Activision Blizzard shareholders had approved a $155million pay package for Kotick earlier this year.
Other goals were also outlined in the letter, which included a $250 million investment over ten year in programs that support diversity within the gaming and technology industry. Activision Blizzard also committed to increasing the number of women employed by it and other non-binary employees by 50%.
Activision Blizzard was sued by numerous government agencies in July for allowing a culture that allowed sexual harassment, abuse and discrimination. Employees organized a walkout and created A Better ABK, an advocacy group demanding that the company change.
We continue to demand the following and chief suite fails to recognize them. #ABetterABK #EndAbuseInGaming pic.twitter.com/4Tk7aV9DjD ABetterABK ABK Workers Alliance (@ABetterABK) September 2, 2021
A Better ABK demanded that forced arbitration be ended, pay transparency and better hiring practices are implemented to promote diversity and inclusion in the Activision Blizzards workforce. Koticks letter seems to address those demands and support the companys other actions such as the firing of more than 20 employees and multiple updates to its games in order to remove problematic content, references and people.