Late last night, Activision Blizzard announced plans to form a new Workplace Responsibility Committee as a response to last week’s devastating report into sexual assault, harassment and misconduct at the company.
The committee is led by two board directors who report to embattled Activision Blizzard boss Bobby Kotick – the figure at the centre of last week’s report into what he is alleged to have known about workplace abuses, and how he is said to have responded.
It also comes after the board in general said it had full confidence in Kotick to remain as CEO – something which now looks a lot less certain in the wake of employee protests, petitions, minority shareholder pressure and calls from across the games industry for his departure.
In a press release issued at 10.30pm Eastern (3.30am UK) last night, Activision said its new Workplace Responsibility Committee would be overseen by the two members of its board who are women: Dawn Ostroff and Reveta Bowers. Activision also said it was “working” to add another “diverse director” to the board.
The committee’s remit involves setting key performance indicators and other means of measuring progress and accountability at the company.
“While the company, with the board’s support, has been making important progress to improve workplace culture, it is clear that current circumstances demand increased board engagement,” Activision wrote.
“Formation of the committee and additional future changes will help facilitate additional direct oversight and transparency and ensure that the company’s commitments to Activision Blizzard’s workforce are carried out with urgency and impact. This has been a challenging time across the company, but the board is confident in the actions underway to set the company up for future success.”
The announcement has been met with skepticism from some at Activision Blizzard, with criticism of the fact other non-board member employees have so far not been invited to join.
Others saw the move as another signal Activision Blizzard is looking to stick with Kotick as its CEO – at least in the short-term.
These are two of the board members who, just a few days ago, stood behind Bobby and expressed absolute faith in his leadership.
— Valentine Powell ?????????? (@valentine_irl) November 23, 2021
Yesterday, it was reported Kotick had discussed a potential exit from Activision Blizzard if he could not fix the company’s issues “with speed”.