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Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick Says He’ll Receive Minimum Wage Pay Until “Transformational Gender-Related Goals” Are Met

In an open letter released today, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick says he’ll be receiving the California minimum wage for salaried employees until the company’s Board of Directors has achieved “transformational gender-related goals.” 

Kotick laid out those goals in the letter released today, as first reported by Video Games Chronicle, and he claims that his reduced salary will be $62,500. He also notes that “this is a reduction in [his] overall compensation” and not just his salary. The CEO claims he’s asking not to receive any bonuses or be granted any equity during this time.

“I truly wish not a single employee had had an experience at work that resulted in hurt, humiliation, or worse – and to those who were affected, I sincerely apologize,” Kotick writes. “You have my commitment that we will do everything possible to honor our values and create the workplace every member of this team deserves.”

Kotick continues and says the experiences of Activision Blizzard employees that have been “so courageously shared” serve as a reason and reminder for why the company needs to do better by its employees. 

In terms of the “transformational gender-related goals,” Kotick laid out five. Here are each of the five goals – the whole letter can be read here for further details:

  1. We are launching a new zero-tolerance harassment policy company-wide. 
  2. We will increase the percentage of women and non-binary people in our workforce by 50% and will invest $250 million to accelerate opportunities for diverse talent. 
  3. Based on feedback from employees, we are waiving the required arbitration of sexual harassment and discrimination claims. 
  4. We will continue to increase visibility on pay equity. 
  5. We will provide regular progress updates. 

Kotick says the central goal of the entire Board of Directors, senior corporate team, and business unit leaders,  is to “make sure you have the resources, culture, and commitment from leadership you need to succeed in our collective aspiration to be the model workplace in our industry.” 

“The guardrails weren’t in place everywhere to ensure that our values were being upheld,” Kotick writes. “In some cases, people didn’t consistently feel comfortable reporting concerns, or their concerns weren’t always addressed promptly or properly. People were deeply let down and, for that, I am truly sorry.” 

This open letter comes months after a reveal in July that the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing had been investigating Activision Blizzard for years, leading to a lawsuit filed against the company. The suit centers around “violations of the state’s civil rights and equal pay laws,” specifically concerning the treatment of women and other marginalized groups at the company. 

Shortly after, Game Informer obtained a copy of the letter Kotick sent to all of Activision Blizzard. In it, he stated that the company “will do everything possible to make sure that together, we improve and build the kind of inclusive workplace that is essential to foster creativity and inspiration,” amongst other promises.  It seems these five goals laid out by Kotick this morning are Activision Blizzard’s next step in making the company a safe and healthy place to work. Only time will tell. 

For a full rundown of everything that’s happened in California’s case against Activision Blizzard, check out this story about why California’s lawsuit could get more complicated.

[Source: Video Games Chronicle]

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