Activision fires 40+ employees over harassment, misconduct
Video game publisher Activision completes reviewing 90 percent of the complaints it has received since July over sexual harassment and other misconduct.
The video game giant Activision Blizzard announced Monday it has fired nearly 40 employees and disciplined more than 40 others since July as it deals with allegations of sexual harassment and other misconduct.
Over the past seven months, the company has received about 700 reports of employee concerns over sexual assault or harassment or other misconduct, in some cases separate reports about the same incident, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Accepting a culture of harassment
According to the newspaper, a summary of the personnel action that the maker of "Call of Duty," "World of Warcraft" and other blockbuster games has taken was scheduled to be released before the winter holidays.
However, CEO Bobby Kotick delayed the release, arguing that it would make the company's workplace problems look even bigger than they were known to be.
In a statement, Activision denied as "simply inaccurate" the allegation that Kotick held up the report, The Wall Street Journal mentioned.
"An interim update to our employees is still being worked on, and the company remains committed to continuing to provide periodic updates on its progress," the statement read.
It said the company has completed reviews of 90 percent of the complaints it has received since July -- it did not say how many there were -- and that "37 employees have exited the company and another 44 received written reprimands, formal warnings or other discipline."
In July, California state regulators accused the company of accepting a culture of harassment, a toxic work environment, and inequality.
In September the Securities and Exchange Commission launched a probe into the company over "disclosures regarding employment matters and related issues."
Two months later, the newspaper reported that Kotick, accused of mishandling the harassment complaints, had pointed out that he would consider stepping down if he failed to fix the company culture. He has led the company for more than three decades.
Company under pressure
Nearly 20 percent of Activision Blizzard's 9,500 employees have signed a petition calling for Kotick to resign.
The Wall Street Journal revealed that the company is under pressure from shareholders and business partners for more accountability over its handling of misconduct issues.