Activision Blizzard has revealed that more than 20 employees have ‘exited’ the company since sexual harassment allegations were first brought into the light back in July.
In addition, more than 20 others who are still employed at the company have faced “other types of disciplinary action” amid lawsuits. The new information was revealed by Activision Blizzard’s chief compliance officer and vice president for corporate affairs, Fran Townsend in an interview with Financial Times (paywall). Townend followed by sending an email to all Activision Blizzard employees which was also shared on the company’s website.
“In recent months, we have received an increase in reports through various reporting channels. People are bringing to light concerns, ranging from years ago to the present. We welcome these reports, and our team has been working to investigate them, using a combination of internal and external resources,”
“It doesn’t matter what your rank is, what your job is,” Townsend said. “If you’ve committed some sort of misconduct or you’re a leader who has tolerated a culture that is not consistent with our values, we’re going to take action.”
At least 40 Activision Blizzard employees impacted by the lawsuit is not a huge number for a company that reportedly had 9500 employees in 2020. It can be gathered that employees in leadership roles are being impacted the most. That’s not to say more change is coming as Townsend detailed in the email the other steps the company is taking to more efficiently address complaints, which are as listed below.
- Adding 22 full-time roles to its Ethics & Compliance team with three roles already hired and the latter 19 planned for later
- adding more ‘Way to Play Heroes’ — employees who help other staff to report incidents – and giving them four extra holiday days a year
- Combining its investigations groups into one centralized unit within a central Ethics & Compliance department, which is separate from business units and human resources
- Improvements to the Employee Relations Team to make sure they “handle complaints and concerns with the care and attention they deserve”
- Working on new materials that document the investigative process and let staff who report misconduct know what to expect during the investigation process
- Tripling investment in training resources
“We are committed to making meaningful and positive change, and this is just the start. We will be sharing additional updates in the coming weeks and months. We know there is always more work to do. We are committed to continuing that work,” Townsend said in an email to Activision Blizzard employees.”
“Please continue to share your ideas and suggestions, in whatever ways you want to send them. We will work hard every day to earn your trust and confidence. Together, let’s ensure that we always have a safe, inclusive, and ethical workplace that makes us all proud.”
Amid all this, the company is still facing multiple lawsuits including one from Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The Call of Duty publisher is keen to settle the case for $18 million USD which is something California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing, who also has a case against Activision Blizzard, is objecting to as it would cause “irreparable harm” to its legal proceedings.