Far from ending, the scandal revealed around Activision Blizzard continues to snowball out of control for the company, with thousands of employees still on strike against the company, some even resigning from their jobs, millions of users abandoning their games, and now, a new lawsuit from shareholders.
This is the second legal action filed against the well-known video game developer, where shareholders accuse the company of intentionally failing to disclose harassment and discrimination issues. The lawsuit, which covers anyone who was involved in safety issues at Activision Blizzard from August 4, 2016, to July 27, 2021, seeks damages and violations of federal safety laws caused not only by Activision Blizzard but by CEO Bobby Kotick, CFO Dennis Durkin, and former CFO Spencer Neumann, all named as defendants.
The lawsuit also mentions that Activision Blizzard and its executives were aware of the sexual discrimination, in addition to the abuse during working hours, and the company never detailed the information in its SOX certifications, annual communications that companies make, where executives must talk about legal problems, federal investigations, and any procedure that could affect the value of the company.
However, although this will not free the company from going to court, it seems that the first moves have already begun to take place to try to alleviate this hard blow. As shared by Bloomberg, it seems that yesterday it was reported, through a leaked internal email, the departure of J. Allen Brack, the hitherto president of Activision Blizzard.
While the vast majority of the allegations took place years before Brack was appointed in 2018, the recent flurry of information has not prevented him from becoming the subject of intense scrutiny, later leading to numerous complaints about his leadership style.
As detailed in this document, Brack will be replaced by Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra, who will now lead the company under the new title of “co-leaders”. A new title that undoubtedly stands out for eliminating references to other previous positions such as CEO, director, or president, for a title that is more neutral and related to joint progress with employees; as well as for being the first time that a woman is placed at the head of the company.
In its official departure statement, Brack assured that “Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra will provide the leadership Blizzard needs to realize its full potential and accelerate the pace of change they can be trusted to lead with the highest levels of integrity and commitment to the components of our culture.”
Although this was not the only departure, as a company spokesperson shared, Jesse Meschuk, one of Activision Blizzard’s human resources executives and senior personnel officers representing the unit, also left the company this week, along with a few dozen employees in various positions.