Activision Blizzard CEO will consider leaving if problems aren't solved quickly

Bobby Kotick reportedly mentioned the possibility of a resignation in meetings with senior company leadership.

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Bobby Kotick, chief executive officer of Activision Blizzard, attends the annual Allen and Co. Sun Valley media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, U.S., July 10, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Brendan McDermid / reuters

Bobby Kotick has reportedly said he may consider resigning as CEO of Activision Blizzard if he can’t fix the company’s cultural problems fast enough. According to The Wall Street Journal, Kotick held a meeting last week involving senior leadership at Blizzard Entertainment in which he said he was “ashamed” of some of the incidents that had occured at the studio under his tenure as CEO. He reportedly went to apologize for his handling of the current situation after he was told some employees would not be satisfied unless he were to resign. According to The Journal, Kotick left open the possibility of a resignation if he couldn’t fix the company’s problems “with speed.”

We’ve reached out to Activision Blizzard for comment.

Calls for Kotick to resign have steadily increased in frequency since The Wall Street Journal published a report last week which alleged he knew about many of the sexual misconduct incidents that had occured at the company over the years. According to the outlet, Kotick has also been accused of mistreating women himself, including one episode involving a voicemail in which he allegedly threatened to have his assistant killed.

After the report came out on November 16th, Activision Blizzard employees staged a walkout and later started a petition calling for Kotick to be removed as CEO of the company. Since then, a group of activist shareholders has also called on Kotick to step down. In leaked emails, the heads of Sony Interactive Entertainment and Microsoft’s Xbox division both said they were troubled by the allegations that had come out of the publisher. In the latter case, Phil Spencer reportedly told employees he was “evaluating all aspects of our relationship with Activision Blizzard and making ongoing proactive adjustments.”

One group Kotick has seemingly not lost support among is Activision Blizzard’s board of directors. On the same day The Journal published its report, the company’s board said it “remains confident that Bobby Kotick appropriately addressed workplace issues brought to his attention.” 

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