Activision Blizzard shareholders vote to approve public harassment report

Last month, the board of directors urged shareholders to decline the report.

On Tuesday, at an annual meeting of Activision Blizzard shareholders, the company voted to approve a public report on its efforts to address workplace harassment and discrimination. 

The initial proposal for such a report first arose in February when New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli suggested the idea. In May, Activision Blizzard’s board of directors urged shareholders to vote against the report.

With the approval vote, Activision Blizzard will be required to produce documentation on company compensation, the number of sexual harassment settlements, pending complaints, and how harassment is being addressed.

In a statement to The Washington Post, DiNapoli said “shareholders’ majority vote spoke loudly. Activision Blizzard needs to restore investor confidence and increase transparency on how it handles workplace harassment and discrimination. We expect swift action from the company on our concerns.”

The vote comes days after Activision Blizzard published a report stating that, following an internal investigation, company leadership did not willfully ignore or cover up harassment.

In addition to the vote on the harassment report, shareholders also approved the election of 10 directors to the board, including the reelection of a handful of members like CEO Bobby Kotick. Also approved was the company’s executive compensation packages.

This is just the latest development in the rollercoaster saga of Activision Blizzard. In July of last year, the company was sued for harassment and discrimination, with plaintiffs alleging sexual assault among other accusations. It later came to light that leadership may have been aware of these allegations.

In May, Raven Software QA workers voted to unionize following a months-long battle with parent company Activision Blizzard, beginning with a wave of sudden layoffs in December. In response, Raven QA workers went on strike, resulting in the eventual landmark union vote. Despite reports that Activision leadership urged employees to vote against the union, the company finally agreed to recognize the CWA earlier this month.

All of this is occurring during Activision Blizzard’s acquisition by Microsoft for nearly $69 billion. Set to close in July of 2023, the transaction is under close investigation by the FTC and has drawn major attention from the US government

In all, Activision Blizzard is under a great deal of scrutiny from many different parties. The swirl of controversy surrounding the company has reached a fever pitch, and it will be interesting to track further developments over the next year as we draw closer to the close date of the Microsoft acquisition.

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Editor-in-Chief

Sam, the Editor-in-Chief of GameDaily.biz, is a former freelance game reporter. He's been seen at IGN, PCGamesN, PCGamer, Unwinnable, and many more. When not writing about games, he is most likely taking care of his two dogs or pretending to know a lot about artisan coffee. Get in touch with Sam by emailing him at  sdesatoff@rektglobal.com or follow him on Twitter.