The Wall Street Journal's reporting on Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick opened up new allegations, led to a new employee walkout, and led to some attempts at mitigating the damage by restating the recently stated zero tolerance policy and list of reforms proposed in the hope of getting ahead of the lawsuits, damage, and rest of the accusations that had surfaced to that point.
The company's board referenced that zero tolerance policy accompanying a statement expressing faith in Kotick and a decision to stand behind him as the company seeks to make those changes. Now the WSJ has a new report claiming that Kotick told senior company officials in a meeting on Friday that he'd consider leaving if the company couldn't turn things around fast enough.
In the report, he also apologized for the handling of incidents reported. The board is looking to set up a "workplace excellence committee" to get the implementation of steps in the zero tolerance policy announcement up and running. The board, however, doesn't seem to be planning any investigation into Kotick's conduct, which seems consistent with its statement standing behind him.
This comes as many have expressed concern and many others have signed a petition calling for his removal, but he is holding to his position at this point, possibly in the hopes that emphasizing the zero tolerance policy and hoping to get the proposed settlement with the EEOC finalized if the courts allow. Leaving the door open to a departure is something but it's noncommittal, and if the board continues standing by him, this could be a waiting game.
Of course, should Activision Blizzard manage to turn around the company culture, hiring practices, and fairly address workers' claims, then it would be a great start. The company’s stock price has fallen from $70 last Monday when the report was published, to $61 today. Both are down from a high of over $104 in February.