Activision Blizzard is currently being sued by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing over its “frat boy” culture that led to serious discrimination against marginalized individuals in the company’s employment. The company’s response to this discrimination lawsuit however has been condemned by an Activision Blizzard shareholder as being “inadequate.”
As reported by Axios, executive director Dieter Waizenegger from the SOC Investment Group – which has a website that describes the company as being someone “holds corporations and their leadership accountable for irresponsible and unethical corporate behavior and excessive executive pay” – has issued a letter to Activision Blizzard.
In the letter, Waizenegger criticizes the company’s recent promises and says that it does not go “nearly far enough to address the deep and widespread issues with equity, inclusion, and human capital management” that is rampant within Activision Blizzard. It also stated that there has been no change to how vacancies would be filled in any way different from the way are being done now and there’s been zero announced changes “with respect to executive pay”.
More importantly, Waizenegger also points out the criticism of the ABK Workers Alliance of Activision Blizzard’s decision to hire WilmerHale to investigate the company’s issues. “The announced review by Wilmer Hale is deficient in a number of ways.” Waizenegger states in the letter. “This firm has a sterling reputation as a defender of the wealthy and connected, but it has no track record of uncovering wrongdoing, the lead investigator does not have in-depth experience investigating workplace harassment and abuse, and the scope of the investigation fails to address the full range of equity issues Mr. Kotick acknowledges.”
The reason for the importance of this condemnation is because, as we described above, the SOC Investment Group specializes in the interest of workers and has previously encouraged (as reported by Eurogamer) other Activision Blizzard shareholders to vote against CEO Bobby Kotick’s “$155m pay package.”
Last week it was revealed that often trans and gay employees over at Activision Blizzard did “not feel safe” within the company. Considering the culture that allegedly runs rampant within the studio behind games like Overwatch and World of Warcraft, it’s not hard to see why.