Activist shareholder group SOC has urged shareholders of Activision Blizzard to vote out a number of the company's directors, who have done nothing short of shielding CEO Bobby Kotick from the numerous accusations of misconduct made against him and the management. A number of the company's directors are up for re-election this year, and SOC Investment Group believes that this will be the perfect opportunity to get rid of them.
As spotted by GamesIndustry.biz, SOC stated in a letter to shareholders, "We urge you to vote AGAINST the re-election of Directors Robert Kotick, Brian Kelly, Robert Morgado, Robert Corti, Barry Meyer, and Peter Nolan at Activision Blizzard Inc.’s (‘Activision’ or ‘Company’) annual meeting on June 21, 2022.
"Each of these directors failed either to recognize that Activision Blizzard for years maintained unsafe workplaces exhibiting frequent and repeated sexual harassment, sexual assault, and gender discrimination, or to appropriately address the Company’s ‘frat house’ culture once it was publicly revealed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (‘DFEH’) in its pending lawsuit, which was filed in July 2021.”
The lengthy letter went on to state several reasons why the board of directors failed in their jobs, all of which we already know and have discussed since the initial report about Activision Blizzard's toxic workplace broke. The two primary reasons stated in the letter were the board's ‘Inadequate Response to the Sexual Harassment Crisis’, followed by its ‘Deeply Flawed Governance’.
The letter concludes by saying that replacing these directors will only be the first step in bringing meaningful change to the work culture of the company. "The replacement of directors Kotick, Kelly, Morgado, Corti, Meyer, and Nolan is necessary but far from sufficient to restore shareholder confidence in Activision’s Board. Under new and more diverse leadership, the Activision Blizzard Board needs to reform its oversight practices and procedures to ensure that a crisis like the one the company is currently enduring does not occur in the future."
It also suggests that a board position should be designated for a "non-executive employee" who would be chosen by the workforce in an open and fair manner. This would be a critical step in "making credible the Board’s commitment to ensuring a fair workplace".
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