Activision Blizzard was struck by a lawsuit earlier in the year, by the State of California and their own employees, alleging unfair labour practices and sexual misconduct. This resulted in a major walkout and strike by Blizzard employees days later.
Following last month's agreement of an $18 Million Settlement between the EEOC and Activision Blizzard, several internal company changes have been made. Yesterday, Executive Vice President for Corporate Affairs, Fran Townsend, shared an email with employees, announcing that at least 20 staff members have "exited" the company.
Activision Blizzard Claims To Have Fired Over 20 Employees Following Harassment Claims
In an internal shake-up, Townsend confirms more resources are being invested into resolving "serious reports", resulting in the departure of certain staff:
People are bringing to light concerns, ranging from years ago to the present. We welcome these reports, and our team has been working to investigate them, using a combination of internal and external resources.
Based on the information received in the initial report, they are assigned into different categories, and resources are allocated to prioritize the most serious reports first. In connection with various resolved reports, more than 20 individuals have exited Activision Blizzard and more than 20 individuals faced other types of disciplinary action.
The Financial Times (via The Verge) received clarification on who some of these staff are. Reportedly, several key developers and supervisors were laid off, but the board remains untouched. Supposedly, certain demands by employees haven't even been addressed:
Activision Blizzard hasn’t met all the demands of protesting employees — who have requested, among other things, an end to mandatory arbitration for harassment complaints. But she said that further changes would be coming.
However, certain additions are being made; one of which involves expanding the Ethics and Compliance Team. Townsend assures that 19 staff members will be added to this division:
Moving forward, we plan to scale this significantly, adding 19 full-time roles to our overall Ethics & Compliance Team, which include team members dedicated to investigations, including the ability to take live calls, as well as data analytics and communications, to help us understand how we’re doing and help us better convey results of our work. Two of those roles will be specifically dedicated to overseeing investigations related to the EMEA and APAC regions.
Multiple lawsuits are still in motion, including an investigation by one of the company's shareholders, the SOC Investment Group. Certain staff have been under fire, including CEO, Bobby Kotick who has been subpoenaed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), while J. Allen Brack stepped down as Blizzard President.