Activision Blizzard has been under a flood of scandals, from anti-union rhetoric to sexual harassment lawsuit settlements. While its shareholders overwhelmingly approved the acquisition by Xbox last week, that same group is now being encouraged to vote against an important sexual harassment report.
In February, New York state proposed that the company issue a report on its ongoing sexual harassment allegations, among other alleged toxic practices. As Axios has found, Activision Blizzard urged its shareholders to vote against such a practice. “The board believes that, rather than diverting energy and resources toward creating yet another report, we should continue to directly respond to employee concerns,” the company filed in response. While that solution might sound fine on paper, Activision Blizzard’s track record says otherwise. Employees staged walkouts specifically in response to CEO Bobby Kotick’s mishandling of these issues over several years.
Xbox really seems to be playing with fire when stories like this come around. The acquisition vote was approved, though a group of US senators does want it reviewed by the FTC first. Should everything shake out in Xbox’s favor, it’s still inheriting a beleaguered company. The aforementioned Bobby Kotick will remain CEO during the merger, so there’s little reason to think the situation will improve until Xbox assumes control.