“We ask that Bobby Kotick remove himself as CEO of Activision Blizzard, and that shareholders be allowed to select the new CEO without the input of Bobby, who we are aware owns a substantial portion of the voting rights of the shareholders,” the petition added.
An Activision Blizzard spokesperson said in response to the petition that the company was “fully committed to fostering a safe, inclusive and rewarding environment” for its 9,500 employees worldwide.
“We support employees’ rights to express their opinions and concerns in a safe and respectful manner, without fear of retaliation,” the spokesperson added.
Kotick said in a statement to employees that the Journal story “paints an inaccurate and misleading view of our company, of me personally, and my leadership.” He added that “anyone who doubts my conviction to be the most welcoming, inclusive workplace doesn’t really appreciate how important this is to me.”
While the report prompted renewed tension with some employees, Activision Blizzard’s board of directors has so far stuck by Kotick. “The Board remains confident in Bobby Kotick’s leadership, commitment and ability” to address the company’s longstanding and ongoing issues with harassment and discrimination, it said in a statement Tuesday.
Kotick, who has been Activision CEO since 1991, including at the time of the 2008 merger with Blizzard, has been in damage control mode for most of this year.