Hot Potato: Activision Blizzard and CEO Bobby Kotik have been the target of employee riots. More than 1,000 employees signed a petition calling for Kotik to resign following allegations that Kotik knew about sexual harassment within the company (and even took steps to engage or protect the accused). The consequences of this disaster have spread far beyond the walls of Activision Blizzard HQ. The company's trading partners, including Xbox and Sony executives, have expressed concern about the way things are being handled.
The first CEO to express his displeasure was PlayStation CEO, Jim Ryan. We reported the news yesterday, but as a brief review, Ryan said in an internal email to PS employees that he was "disappointed and unclear" by reading a recent report in the Wall Street Journal about Kotick and Activision Blizzard. He also noted that the company had had little response to the news. Ryan's team contacted Activision "immediately" after the article was published to express their "deep concern" and determine how the entertainment giant would handle the charges. p>
Xbox CEO Phil Spencer called himself. He recently considered sending a similar internal email to his workers. Bloomberg was able to view a copy of this email and shared some quotes. p>
Those words are surprisingly powerful, for a high-level game director, it remains to be seen whether Spencer will actually take action, but now that He made it clear that he wants to do this, Activision is fully involved. Spencer in theory controls Xbox game distribution and promotional transactions - disrupting any of those revenue streams would be a huge blow to Activision, so there is a strong incentive for the company to modify the ship.
We'll have to wait to see what it looks like.
Phil Spencer says Xbox is evaluating all aspects of its relationship with Activision Blizzard.