A Letter From CEO Bobby Kotick to All Employees
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
This has been a difficult and upsetting week.

I want to recognize and thank all those who have come forward in the past and in recent days. I so appreciate your courage. Every voice matters - and we will do a better job of listening now, and in the future.

Our initial responses to the issues we face together, and to your concerns, were, quite frankly, tone deaf.

It is imperative that we acknowledge all perspectives and experiences and respect the feelings of those who have been mistreated in any way. I am sorry that we did not provide the right empathy and understanding.

Many of you have told us that active outreach comes from caring so deeply for the Company. That so many people have reached out and shared thoughts, suggestions, and highlighted opportunities for improvement is a powerful reflection of how you care for our communities of colleagues and players – and for each other. Ensuring that we have a safe and welcoming work environment is my highest priority. The leadership team has heard you loud and clear.

We are taking swift action to be the compassionate, caring company you came to work for and to ensure a safe environment. There is no place anywhere at our Company for discrimination, harassment, or unequal treatment of any kind. We will do everything possible to make sure that together, we improve and build the kind of inclusive workplace that is essential to foster creativity and inspiration.

I have asked the law firm WilmerHale to conduct a review of our policies and procedures to ensure that we have and maintain best practices to promote a respectful and inclusive workplace. This work will begin immediately. The WilmerHale team will be led by Stephanie Avakian, who is a member of the management team at WilmerHale and was most recently the Director of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement.

We encourage anyone with an experience you believe violates our policies or in any way made you uncomfortable in the workplace to use any of our many existing channels for reporting or to reach out to Stephanie. She and her team at WilmerHale will be available to speak with you on a confidential basis and can be reached at ATVI@wilmerhale.com or 202-247-2725. Your outreach will be kept confidential. Of course, NO retaliation will be tolerated.

We are committed to long-lasting change. Effective immediately, we will be taking the following actions:

  • Employee Support. We will continue to investigate each and every claim and will not hesitate to take decisive action. To strengthen our capabilities in this area we are adding additional senior staff and other resources to both the Compliance team and the Employee Relations team.
  • Listening Sessions. We know many of you have inspired ideas on how to improve our culture. We will be creating safe spaces, moderated by third parties, for you to speak out and share areas for improvement.
  • Personnel Changes. We are immediately evaluating managers and leaders across the Company. Anyone found to have impeded the integrity of our processes for evaluating claims and imposing appropriate consequences will be terminated.
  • Hiring Practices. Earlier this year I sent an email requiring all hiring managers to ensure they have diverse candidate slates for all open positions. We will be adding compliance resources to ensure that our hiring managers are in fact adhering to this directive.
  • In-game Changes. We have heard the input from employee and player communities that some of our in-game content is inappropriate. We are removing that content.
  • Your well-being remains my priority and I will spare no company resource ensuring that our company has the most welcoming, comfortable, and safe culture possible.

You have my unwavering commitment that we will improve our company together, and we will be the most inspiring, inclusive entertainment company
in the world.

Yours sincerely,

Bobby

Blizzard Offers Paid Time Off For Employees Participating in Walk-Out
Jason Schreier tweeted today that Blizzard has offered paid time off to any employee participating in tomorrow's walk-out.


This article was originally published in forum thread: A Letter From CEO Bobby Kotick to All Employees started by Stoy View original post
Comments 1087 Comments
  1. ro9ue's Avatar
    In-game Changes. We have heard the input from employee and player communities that some of our in-game content is inappropriate. We are removing that content.
    Glad Bobby got my email about the Vulpera.
  1. buddhapunch09's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ro9ue View Post
    Glad Bobby got my email about the Vulpera.
    HAHAHAHAHAH!!!
    Sorry this was too funny!
  1. ExCiZieR's Avatar
    All he cares about is stockmarket and our wallets. Resign. Not now, yesterday.
    The only thing could save WoW at this point, is its own ARR.
  1. Darth Vowrawn's Avatar
    Personnel Changes. We are immediately evaluating managers and leaders across the Company. Anyone found to have impeded the integrity of our processes for evaluating claims and imposing appropriate consequences will be terminated.
    The purge is here! Might be the only good thing on the list!
  1. RoKPaNda's Avatar
    Imagine Bobby Kotick having a more human sounding reply than most of the former and current Blizzard brass. Ooof.

    Glad they're hopefully making changes and glad that the employees walking out are getting PTO.
  1. Sluvs's Avatar
    I have never seen such shitstorm in a videogame company. Was there any tof this magnitude?

    Maybe Riot?
  1. Sentynel's Avatar
    Where is our paid time off for not getting any development on the product we paid for?
  1. ro9ue's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by RoKPaNda View Post
    Imagine Bobby Kotick having a more human sounding reply than most of the former and current Blizzard brass. Ooof.
    He got a $100m+ bonus last year. Dude can hire the best PR letter writer on planet earth.
  1. Martymark's Avatar
    "In-game Changes. We have heard the input from employee and player communities that some of our in-game content is inappropriate. We are removing that content."
    So...they are going to heavily censor all women in the game and make them wear burqas, while the men can still be free and mostly nude at all times?
  1. Overhealer's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by RoKPaNda View Post
    Imagine Bobby Kotick having a more human sounding reply than most of the former and current Blizzard brass. Ooof.

    Glad they're hopefully making changes and glad that the employees walking out are getting PTO.
    IKR? but the company losing around 10% in stock price in one afternoon might have something to do with that
  1. Daedius's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by RoKPaNda View Post
    Imagine Bobby Kotick having a more human sounding reply than most of the former and current Blizzard brass. Ooof.
    You can be sure as hell he didn't write that out without the assistance of a lawyer and a speechwriter.
  1. Lynarii's Avatar
    Not entirely certain that making public the contact information of the confidential outreach is a great idea for the people reporting on this.
  1. Kallisto's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ExCiZieR View Post
    All he cares about is stockmarket and our wallets. Resign. Not now, yesterday.
    The only thing could save WoW at this point, is its own ARR.
    That's literally the job of every CEO is to care about nothing but stockmarket and wallets. The issue isn't Kotick (He is an issue but more a symptom than the disease), it's uncontrolled capitalism.
  1. Yarathir's Avatar
    Literally the only thing that helps (and I doubt anything will come of it) is the personnel changes part.

    The rest is just roundabout PR lawyerspeak doused in a bit of rainbow/woke capitalism, because making some performative gestures like changing spell names that are verboten in [current year] or claiming that you are focusing on hiring more of x or y skin color or sexuality is a really easy way to seem like you're doing better things when your primary audience is a bunch of 20-30somethings who are still mentally stuck in the tumblr blogging days.
  1. msmollymillions's Avatar
    stock price goes down and the he finally jumps into action right on queue.

    This company is a joke, even this paying the people doing the walkout is just a PR stunt. They are going to do ANYTHING they can to prevent the workers from Unionizing and getting themselves some actual protection from the toxic work culture that exists in game development.
  1. Overhealer's Avatar
    let's all take a time to remember that bobby kotick himself lost a legal battle in a sexual harassment case against him in 2010. he's on par with some the men that they are going to fire, kinda obvious that he's is just trying to save stock prices (and by proxy, his 100+ mil bonuses)
  1. SinR's Avatar
    *Grabs Popcorn and settles in*

    Dis gonna be good

    Edit: Oh this spicy
  1. exsanguinate's Avatar
    He is just pretending. In reality he doesnt give a single brownie.
  1. Aphelios's Avatar
    Really can't wait for the court of Twitter to dig up Bobby's sexual harassment case.

    Also, +1 for hiring a do nothing firm to increase your diversity and inclusivity by another 10,000 points. It's super effective!
  1. |Dexter|'s Avatar
    Well... this seems like a shitty start but it's something well the Personnel Changes part the rest is just PR talk and those lawers are working for and get paid by Blizzard so I don't think that part will do much, and listing Listening Sessions seems pretty pointless if no real action is taken... the employers demand more!

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