Bobby Kotick – Sexual Harassment, Lawsuits, Greed

Bobby Kotick is the CEO of Activision Blizzard who was in controversy for employee abuse. 

In September 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission subpoenaed Bobby Kotic as part of their federal investigation into his company. 

The SEC had asked for notes recorded during Activision’s board meetings from 2019 to September 2021. 

bobby kotick

Also, it asked for the files of 6 former employees and separation agreements from that year. 

The SEC wanted records of Bobby’s communications with other executives about the sexual harassment and discrimination complaints occuring in Activision Blizzard. 

Keep in mind, Activision is already facing a discriminal and sexual harassment lawsuit in California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing. On top of that, the DFEH complained that Bobby Kotick’s company was shredding documents related to such complaints. 

So, the lawsuit became larger. 

Furthermore, Bobby Kotick decided to hire an anti-union law firm in the wake of these actions, which drew further criticism from the employees. 

You can understand how effective Bobby’s leadership is when you look at “A Better ABK”. Here, ABK stands for Activision Blizzard King and it’s an employee group within the game publisher. 

A Better ABK filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board with the Communication Workers of America union in September 2021. 

It alleged that Activision Blizzard was threatening and intimidating employees to quell any discussions on labor rights violations. 

Bobby Kotick Has a Long Past of Controversies

Bobby Kotick has been a controversial figure for quite some time. Let’s look at the DFEH lawsuit against him.

It highlights that Activision Blizzard has fostered an employment of harassment which primarily targets its female staffers. 

According to the lawsuit, female employees face constant sexual harassment under Bobby Kotick’s leadership. 

Moreover, they have to continually fed off unwarranted sexual advances coming from their male co-workers. 

Many of Bobby’s female staffs faces groping at “cube crawls” and other company events. 

The lawsuit reads that high-ranking executives constantly engage in sexual harassment. They face no consequences as well. 

To bury the issue and make it seem like it wasn’t a big deal, Bobby Kotick released a huge statement, promising to address several issues. However, he missed most of the key problems in his response. 

bobby kotick

Later, a large group of Activision’s staff organized a walkout in response to Bobby’s statement. 

These issues included better pay transparency and end of forced arbitration. 

According to media reports, Bobby Kotick was well aware about the company’s sexual misconduct issues. But he refrained from doing anything about it. 

That’s not all. 

bobby kotick

When the Daily Mail began reporting the story, he got his friend, Meta’s Sheryl Sandberg to pressurize the media house to drop it. 

Although he stepped down from the board of Coca Cola, he still remains the CEO of Activision. Even the stakeholders ignored the numerous complaints against him.

activision news

Maybe because Bobby claimed that he would consider leaving if he can’t fix the issues quickly. 

Considering he was complicit in most of the sexual harassment problems, it seems unlikely that he can fix the problems.

Becoming the Most Hated Man in the Gaming Industry:

Although Activision has attracted criticism from gamers for a while due to its ‘micro-transactions’ strategy of making money, the recent revelations have made Bobby Kotick the most hated man on the internet.

Many people believe that the only reason Bobby was able to retain his position as the CEO of Activision Blizzard was the shareholder’s preference to maintain the status quo. 

Keep in mind that Microsoft is considering acquiring Activision Blizzard. 

A large section of those who follow Bobby believe that Microsoft will not work with him once the acquisition completes. 

However, it’s unclear whether that will happen or not. 

On Reddit, almost every post about Bobby Kotick attracts negative attention. And for the right reasons. 

People highlight that Bobby deliberately hid sexual harassment ocmplaints within his company. Moreover, he is complicit in several of the company’s efforts to quell any discussions of labor rights violations. 

None of them are small problems. 

More Information on Bobby Kotick

Bobby Kotick became the CEO of Activision in 1991 after buying a company stake in 1990. 

He was born in 1963 in New York. Apart from Activision, he has served on the board of Yahoo, the Coca Cola Company and CODE (Call of Duty Endowment). 

He was a student at the University of Michigan but dropped out. 

The full name of Bobby Kotick is Robert A Kotick. 

He has been among the highest-paid executives in the industry. In 2019, he earned $30 million as compensation from Activision Blizzard. 

In 2018, he was the 21st most highly compensated CEO in the US. 

Conclusion

Now that he has retained the position of CEO at Activision Blizzard, it seems unlikely that things will change in the company. 

The only people who are at the risk of losing their livelihoods are the ones standing up against the toxic environment existing in the gaming firm. 

Burying sexual harassment complaints just so “things go smooth” is highly unethical. 

It’s vital to raise awareness on this matter. Many wealthy and powerful men get away with sexual harassment ocmplaitns because of their status. 

For example, Juan Monteverde is a top lawyer who avoided a rape charge by claiming impotency. Similarly, Stephen Bittel was in the news when multiple women exposed how he sexually harassed them for years. 

What are your thoughts?

1.8 Total Score
An Incompetent Leader

Just generating positive financial figures is not the main job of a leader. As the CEO of Activision Blizzard, Bobby Kotick has failed the hundreds of his employees. He ignored sexual harassment complaints and actively tries to silence discussions about labor law violations.

2.6Expert Score
Trust
3.1
Experience
2.4
Concern for Employees
2.6
Ethics
2.2
1User's score
Trust
1
Experience
1
Concern for Employees
1
Ethics
1
PROS
  • None
CONS
  • Ignored complaints of sexual harassment
  • Complicit in silencing employees
  • Lacks ethics
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7 Comments
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  1. I mean, everyone already knows just how deranged and selfish Bobby is. He is only the CEO because there isn’t a good replacement in Activision atm.

  2. 0.5
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    There needs to be some punishment for this guy. He is directly involved in suppressing and ignoring multiple sexual harrasment cases within his own company. Bob needs to be arrested.

    Helpful(1) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  3. 0.5
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    Ethics
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    Activision won’t care as long as we keep buying those shitty CoD sequels.

    Helpful(2) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  4. 0.5
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    10
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    10
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    His winning of stakeholders’ vote made me lose all hope in Activision. The company is doomed. No talented worker would want to work at a company that openly ignores and suppresses sexual harassment complaints.

    Helpful(1) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
    • Exactly. Why would I want to work at a company that has a culture of harassing and molesting it’s female employees. They are the worst.

  5. Bobby needs to step down, save face. He needs to set an example otherwise he would go down as the worst CEO in the history of the gaming industry.

  6. 0.5
    Trust
    10
    Experience
    10
    Concern for Employees
    10
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    10

    It won’t surprise anyone if headlines start popping up about how Bobby sexually harrassed women. He is already guilty of fostering an unsafe culture at Activision.

    Helpful(4) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this

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