PlayStation chief calls out Activision Blizzard’s response to sexual misconduct claims against CEO
Sony and Activision Blizzard have had a working relationship for years
PlayStation Chief Jim Ryan on Wednesday criticized Activision Blizzard Inc. for what he deemed an inadequate response to allegations that chief executive officer Bobby Kotick had known about sexual misconduct allegations at the video game publishing giant for years.
In an email sent to employees and obtained by Bloomberg, Ryan said he was "disheartened and frankly stunned to read" that Activision did not do enough "to address a deep-seated culture of discrimination and harassment."
The Wall Street Journal published an article Tuesday, citing interviews with former employees and others familiar with Activision Blizzard and internal documents, including memos, emails, and regulatory requests, which reportedly show that Kotick did not inform the board about everything he knew regarding sexual misconduct allegations against the company, even after regulators began investigating claims in 2018.
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Ryan said PlayStation’s parent company Sony outreached to Activision "immediately after the article was published to express our deep concern and to ask how they plan to address the claims made in the article."
"We do not believe their statements of response properly address the situation," Ryan reportedly said.
Sony and Activision Blizzard have had a working relationship for years, with the latter company publishing most of its games on PlayStation consoles.
Kotick himself has also been accused by several women of inappropriate behavior both outside and inside the company over the years, per reporting from The Journal.
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Activision Blizzard told Fox Business that the company respects all feedback from its valued partners and is engaging with them further.
"We have detailed important changes we have implemented in recent weeks, and we will continue to do so," an Activision Blizzard spokesperson said in a statement. "We are committed to the work of ensuring our culture and workplace are safe, diverse and inclusive. We know it will take time, but we will not stop until we have the best workplace for our team."
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Fox Business has reached out to PlayStation seeking additional comment.
Fox Business Lucas Manfredi contributed to this report.