The CEO of game publisher Activision Blizzard has announced a package of measures to tackle sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace. In an internal email, Bobby Kotick says that “every vote counts and that we will listen better now and in the future”.
An independent legal firm is engaged to review the policies and various procedures. In addition, Kotick says that a number of actions will be taken immediately. These include listening sessions with employees, investigating existing complaints and the personnel policy is also being overhauled.
Managers who become clear that they have committed abuses will be fired. It is also called upon to take diversity into account when hiring staff. Kotick says executives are monitored for this.
The CEO also promises that games will be adjusted if necessary because “we heard from staff and players that certain content is inappropriate”. He did not clarify which games it concerns.
State files lawsuit
The email comes a few days after it was announced that the US state of California is filing a lawsuit against the publisher of well-known games like call of Duty and World of Warcraft has tightened. “This has been a difficult and disturbing week,” Kotick begins his email, which has now also been published.
A regulator spent two years investigating reports of sexual harassment and discrimination against female employees. The indictment states, among other things, that women are paid less than men at the company and that there is a macho culture within the organization.
Managers also allegedly harassed women. An employee is said to have committed suicide after having a sexual relationship with a manager. She is said to have done so on a business trip after male colleagues shared nude photos of her.
In an earlier statement, the company said it did not identify with the charges. The CEO is now coming back to that. He says the employees should have been listened more carefully when they expressed their complaints.