Activision-Blizzard wants shareholders to vote against making the company release public abuse reports


The Activision-Blizzard annual shareholders meeting is coming soon, and several proposals are up for voting. Among those proposals is a required report that outlines the company’s attempts to prevent harassment and abuse – a proposal that the ActiBlizz board is hoping will be voted down by its shareholders.

The proposal, which was first submitted as late as February by the New York State Common Retirement Fund (which has over 1.5M shares of ActiBlizz), would require the company to prepare an annual public report “quantifying the effectiveness and outcomes [of] efforts to prevent abuse, harassment, and discrimination against protected classes of employees.” Metrics in this report would include aggregate dollar amounts of settled disputes, the total number of pending sexual abuse and harassment reports, consolidated data of pay and hours worked, and progress reports on reducing the length of time it takes Activision-Blizzard to resolve complaints.

The company board’s position against the report is that time and effort in creating this document would be better spent elsewhere and the metrics asked would be inaccurate anyway:

“[R]ather than diverting energy and resources toward creating yet another report, we should continue to directly respond to employee concerns. Focusing all our attention on these concerns is the best way quickly and effectively to create genuine change in our workplace. […] The proposed report itself, even if completed after significant time and expense, would create a set of metrics that are simply not the best measures of how the Company is responding to employee concerns. The Board is committed to measuring the speed and effectiveness of our changes accurately, not based on metrics that are not precisely tailored to our Company’s situation.”

The rest of the response goes on to commit to transparency and outline steps ActiBlizz claims it has taken thus far to clean up its act.

Another proposal up for vote is the addition of an “Employee Representative Director” to the board, who would be voted upon by employees of the company and work as an employee representative. Unsurprisingly, the company’s board is asking shareholders to vote against this proposal as well, citing that it already “[reflects] a diversity of perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences.”

Voting on these proposals and others on the docket is set for Tuesday, June 21st.

Activision-Blizzard is considered a controversial gaming company owing to a long string of scandals over the last few years, including the Blitzchung boycott, mass layoffs, labor disputes, and executive pay fiasco. In 2021, the company was sued by California for fostering a work environment rife with sexual harassment and discrimination, the disastrous corporate response to which compounded Blizzard’s ongoing pipeline issues and the widespread perception that its online games are in decline. Multiple state and federal agencies are investigating the company as employees strike and call for Bobby Kotick’s resignation. As of 2022, the company is being acquired by no less than Microsoft.
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