Activision shares plunge on reports that CEO knew of fraud

Activision Blizzard Inc. shares were accused of abuse by several women on Tuesday after CEO of one of the largest video game publishers in the United States was aware of long-standing allegations of sexual misconduct at the company. After being reported, it fell.

An article in The Wall Street Journal details the allegations of rape in one of Activision’s studios, and CEO Bobby Cotic was informed of the 2016 and 2017 incidents and out-of-court reconciliation. However, he said he did not report. Put them on the board. The newspaper cites interviews, company emails, regulatory requests, and other internal documents that informed reports that Cotic knew about employee misconduct in many parts of the company. Report on the settlement, including if Cotic himself was accused of abuse.

Activision shares lost about a quarter of their value after a California government agency sued the company for sexual harassment and discrimination in July. US securities regulators are investigating and have summoned Cotic, the journal reported. Shares on Tuesday fell by as much as 7% following the report, eradicating previous rises in daytime trading.

An Activision spokeswoman told the journal: “Kotick would not have been informed of all reports of fraud in all Activision Blizzard companies. The story also quoted a board statement that” was always informed about the status of regulatory matters. ” ..

In an email statement to Bloomberg, a spokesperson for Activision said a report from The Wall Street Journal “shows an inaccurate and misleading view” of the company and Cotic. “The case of sexual misconduct that caught his attention acted on it,” a spokesman said.

Cotic has doubled his defense of the company’s actions to improve work culture in recent months. In a video to employees that Bloomberg saw on Tuesday morning, he said, “Anyone who doubts my beliefs are the most welcoming and inclusive workplace, really understands how important this is to me. I haven’t. “

Since the news of the California proceedings was reported in the Journal this summer, Activision has received more than 500 reports from employees on “problems such as harassment, sexual assault, bullying and wage inequality.” I reported that. According to the journal, Cotic was aware of these reports and sometimes even interfered with them. Dan Bunting, co-head of Call of Duty Studio Treyarch, was accused of sexually harassing a female employee in 2017. An internal investigation recommended that he be fired, but Kotick intervened to keep him in place.

The report also highlights that Blizzard co-leader Jennifer Oneal resigned just three months after taking a leading role in the company with Mike Ibarra. Oneal said in an email to Activision’s lawyers that company executives lacked confidence in turning things around and were paid less than Ybarra. She also said she had previously been sexually harassed by Activision, the newspaper reports.

Activision shares plunge on reports that CEO knew of fraud

Source link Activision shares plunge on reports that CEO knew of fraud

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