When corporations misbehave, it’s not uncommon for them to come out on the other side scot-free. Unfortunately for Activision Blizzard and its CEO, Bobby Kotick, that hasn’t been the case thus far. The public image of both parties has been significantly tarnished recently as journalists and state investigators have found multiple instances of sexual harassment, assault, and worse within the company. Activision Blizzard’s problems don’t end there, though: now, 6 state treasurers are demanding answers from the company’s board of directors.
The treasurers in question hail from California, Massachusetts, Illinois, Oregon, Delaware, and Nevada. According to Axios, they have collectively sent a letter to Activision Blizzard’s board of directors requesting a meeting to “discuss [their] response to the challenges and investment risk exposures that face Activision.”
In the letter, the treasurers also reportedly said that they would “weigh a call to vote” against the re-election of “incumbent directors.” Apparently, this references a call from a group of Activision Blizzard shareholders who demanded Kotick’s resignation last month.
The full letter to Activision Blizzard has not been published in its entirety by Axios, nor has it been officially released by the involved treasurers, so we can’t pick it apart for details. However, broadly speaking, the treasurers feel that there needs to be “sweeping changes” made at Activision Blizzard, but the current leadership team might not have the “skillset, nor the conviction” to institute those changes.
Given that the company’s board of directors defended Bobby Kotick in spite of the allegations facing him, it’s perhaps understandable that the treasurers might feel that way. After all, if those allegations are true, there may be a conflict of interest at play. Could Kotick be expected to enact “sweeping” change if he’s involved in the activities that need changing? Perhaps, perhaps not. The board certainly thinks so, but we’ll let official investigators have the final say.
In any case, it’s been an awful few months for Activision Blizzard leadership, and it doesn’t look like things are getting better anytime soon. However, with a little luck, the situation might just improve for the company’s employees. Only time will tell.