How Being a Rapist Sympathiser Got a CEO Screwed
In July 2021, a lawsuit was filed against Activision Blizzard, one of the largest video game publishers in the world, by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). The lawsuit alleged that the company had a pervasive “frat boy” culture that discriminated against women and perpetuated sexual harassment and unequal pay.
The lawsuit included several examples of inappropriate behavior, including male employees groping and harassing female employees, managers engaging in sexual relationships with subordinates, and male employees sharing explicit photos and videos of female colleagues. The lawsuit also alleged that women were paid less than men for the same work and were often passed over for promotions in favor of less-qualified male colleagues.
Following the lawsuit, several high-profile executives left the company, including the president and CEO of Blizzard Entertainment, one of Activision Blizzard’s subsidiary companies. Employees also staged a walkout to protest the company’s handling of the allegations.
The Wall Street Journal was the first to offer examples of alleged misconduct in November 2021. The fallout exposed that the CEO of Blizzard knew about many of the inappropriate practices and tried to sweep it all under the rug.
Two months later, that CEO was long gone, and Microsoft announced the full acquisition of Activision, an elegant solution to getting rid of the embattled board and management. Microsoft paid cash, and if goes through, there will be many career heads rolling. The deal will probably close by April of this year.
Who is Activision?
Activision Blizzard makes super successful video games from Call of Duty to Candy Crush, along with many popular games across various platforms. Some of the most well-known games published by Activision Blizzard include:
- Call of Duty series: a first-person shooter franchise with numerous installments, including Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Call of Duty: Black Ops, and Call of Duty: Warzone.
- World of Warcraft: a massively multiplayer online role-playing game…