Activision Blizzard board denies claims of harassment culture (NASDAQ:ATVI)

Michael Buckner/Getty Images Entertainment

The board at Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) pushed back Thursday against the drumbeat of media stories about accusations of harassment in company culture.

In a long letter it included in an SEC filing, the board said that it had promised to dig into issues directly, and “What we have come to realize over the past several months is that there are many truths about our company – individual and collective, experiential and data-driven – and sometimes they can be difficult to reconcile.”

Media criticism of the board and senior executives as insensitive to workplace matters, though is “without merit. Activision Blizzard senior executives responded in a timely manner and with integrity and resolve to improve the workplace.”

“Contrary to many of the allegations, the Board and its external advisors have determined that there is no evidence to suggest that Activision Blizzard senior executives ever intentionally ignored or attempted to downplay the instances of gender harassment that occurred and were reported,” the letter read.

While it notes “a single instance of someone feeling diminished at Activision Blizzard is one too many,” the board says there isn’t a systemic problem with harassment, discrimination or retaliation at the company, and that “based on the volume of reports, the amount of misconduct reflected is comparatively low for a company the size of Activision Blizzard.”

Their work also hasn’t unearthed any evidence suggesting any attempt by a senior executive or employee to conceal information from the board, it said.

Notably, that’s pushback on November reports that CEO Bobby Kotick knew for years about sexual-misconduct allegations and that he kept some reports from the board.

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