Activision Blizzard has been sued for a second time, as shareholders argue that they have been harmed by executives withholding information over the sexual previously filed DFEH sexual harassment lawsuit. Additionally, some of the company’s staff have formed a coalition to push back against statements made and actions taken by the company following the scandal’s break.
The ABK Workers Alliance has been formed and represents works from across Activision, Beenox, Blizzard Entertainment, High Moon Studios, Infinity Ward, King, Sledgehammer Games, Raven Software, and Vicarious Visions. It was this group that organised the one day walk out by employees last week.
In the group’s first action, they’ve released a letter to condemn Activision CEO Bobby Kotick’s statements following the DFEH lawsuit, a lack of meaningful response to a previous open letter signed by thousands of employees, and the decision to hire the law firm WilmerHale to act as a third-party auditor of company procedures.
“While we commend the idea of hiring a third-party firm to perform an internal review, The ABK Workers Alliance cannot support the choice of WilmerHale as an impartial reviewer,” they write.
WilmerHale helped Amazon illegally disrupt the employee vote on unionisation held at one of its facilities earlier this year.
The letter can be found on IGN.
Activision’s executives have largely kept their employees and their concerns at arms length through this, and might be more concerned by the shareholder lawsuit that has been filed against them, specifically naming Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, current CFO Dennis Durkin, and former CFO Spencer Neumann as being “aware of or recklessly disregarded the fact that the false and misleading statements were being issued concerning the Company.” Additional statements made during quarterly filings would also be “materially false”, following the outcome of the DFEH lawsuit.
All of this could lead to losses for investors, and so a class action has been filed in a California Federal Court by The Rosen Law Firm of Los Angeles. They are demanding a trial by jury.
Yesterday, Activision Blizzard confirmed that Blizzard president J. Allen Brack has stepped down and departed the company, with Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra to co-lead Blizzard. HR executive, Jesse Meschuk has also left this week. However, Chief Compliance Officer Fran Townsend, who dismissed the lawsuit out of hand by saying it contained “factually inaccurate, old, and out of context stories” and then went on to start blocking Activision Blizzard employees, remains at the company.