In a meeting of its stockholders, Activision Blizzard announced that the company has re-elected its Board of Directors, including the re-election of CEO Bobby Kotick alongside previous members, as well as two new directors. This vote comes at the same time the stockholders overwhelmingly shut down a proposal to see an employee director added to the board.
In an investor report on the Activision Blizzard website, the company announced that the board and Kotick were re-elected overwhelmingly, with votes coming from approximately 82.9% of all shareholders of the publicly traded company. The vote also saw an overwhelming majority approve the compensation the board will receive as part of their duties to the company.
The re-election of CEO Bobby Kotick is notable, as calls for his resignation have been pretty widespread since reports came out last year regarding the lawsuit levied at the company by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing last year. The lawsuit alleges that Activision Blizzard allowed an environment that fostered harassment in the workplace, especially harassment of women and other marginalized groups at the company.
It also makes sense that the shareholders wouldn't vote out the current board of directors with the sale of Activision Blizzard to Microsoft still ongoing.
Kotick himself was the focus of a bombshell report from The Wall Street Journal, alleging he knew about instances of sexual misconduct at the company and failed to inform the board of some reports. Activision Blizzard released a statement at the time, stating that the WSJ paints an "inaccurate and misleading view" of the company.
Activision Blizzard also approved a measure that would see the company publish annual reports of its efforts to tackle pending sexual harassment disputes in the workplace. However, as the measure is non-binding, Activision Blizzard is careful not to commit to doing so outright, stating that it will "carefully consider the proposal." This comes after the company exonerated itself in an internal investigation that found no evidence of widespread or systemic harassment at the company.
Via the investor release:
In addition, approximately 67% of the voting shares voted in favor of the non-binding stockholder proposal regarding the preparation of a report about the Company’s efforts in the workplace. Consistent with our ongoing commitments, we will carefully consider the proposal to enhance our future disclosures. Activision Blizzard remains deeply committed to a respectful, welcoming workplace for all colleagues. We believe that transparency with our stakeholders is critical to our commitment to the very best governance practices. The Board greatly values our stockholders’ perspectives.
The vote yesterday also saw shareholders shoot down the proposal of employee representation within the board itself, with only 5% of the votes in favor of adding the new board member. This is in the wake of a successful unionization vote at Activision studio Raven Software last month. The National Labor Board has legally recognized the Game Workers Alliance, and as such, Activision Blizzard has stated it will begin the process of negotiating with the union.