The stormy period of the well-known videogame company Activision Blizzard it continues without any hint of slowing down. Indeed, it is harassment scandal is impacting Blizzard with increasing fervor e the shareholders themselves intervened to ensure that something was done. Even if that something is less than what the employees are asking for.
Activision Blizzard shareholders seek clarification on harassment
Let’s start with the good news: the company’s shareholders have approved the drafting of a annual report that monitors the company’s efforts to stop abuse and harassment that occurs to the detriment of the most vulnerable staff. Not only that, the report will also have to act as a register of all causes for sexual harassment that Activision Blizzard is experiencing and will suffer in the future.
The company had explicitly advised against pursuing similar objectives, however the shareholders did not listen to the software house and instead demanded that they be provided with all the data necessary to understand how widespread the problem is, if there are effective solutions useful to change the tragic course and, above all, to what extent the compensations paid consist to the victims.
In a way, this stance demonstrates the shareholder intention to force Activision Blizzard to respond to their own company policya position that however tightly fits the videogame publisher, at least taking into account that up to now he has maintained a diplomatic approach that rejects any responsibility on the part of top management.
The Council does not want to deal with workers
Although the shareholders have shown that they want to take an active interest in the problem, it is also true that they have repudiated employee requests, who, supported by Raven Software’s fledgling syndicates, had demanded that their representatives be allowed to play a role on the Board. The proposal, passed under judgment, only won 5% of the votes in favor.
Not only did the Board not grant an employee representative a seat, it also made sure of reconfirm the position of managers at the center of disputes. Specifically, in November the Wall Street Journal found that Activision Blizzard management had been careful not to notify shareholders of internal harassment cases, with the result that a minority group of board members had requested that he not come. renewed the presence on the Board of the CEO of the company, Bobby Kotick, as well as those of Brian Kelly and Robert Morgado. The three are still on the commission, with 88% of votes in favor.
The situation has a double face
Although a gesture was made in favor of resolving the matter, the positions of the shareholders are anything but radical, at least as regards the search for internal responsibilities within the management. It is clear that the upper floors are interested in repainting the image of the company so as to restore trust in the compromised brand – especially in view of the sale to Microsoft -, however, the actions taken struggle to demonstrate an executive commitment and many fear that everything could be exhausted in a simple formal gimmick.
To suggest a similar pessimistic reading is also the fact that only last week Activision Blizzard published the results of one of its controversial internal investigation in which she went to probe the responsibilities related to the allegations of harassment recorded, document in which in fact he absolves himself of all guilt. The report denies the aforementioned allegations made in November by the Wall Street Journal and, while acknowledging that there are “proven instances of gender harassment” it also states that “there is no evidence to suggest that Activision Blizzard senior executives have intentionally ignored or that have tried to downplay the cases of harassment that have occurred and that have been reported “.
In short, leadership positions are strongly defended, an element that contrasts strongly with the wishes of employees, activists and trade unions, who continue to ask for a revolution that positively upsets the company’s command nuclei.
The Washington Post