On Nov. 22, Activision Blizzard’s board of directors reiterated its commitment to eradicating discrimination and harassment in the workplace by announcing the formation of a Workplace Responsibility Committee. The purpose of this committee is to oversee that Activision is successfully implementing its new procedures and policies aimed at improving workplace culture by ending all forms of harassment and discrimination.
Blizzard Activision, a global interactive-entertainment software company, appointed two well-respected women to lead the Workplace Responsibility Committee: Dawn Ostroff and Reveta Bowers. Ostroff is the chief content officer at Spotify and has been an independent director on the Activision Blizzard board since June 2020. She is the former president of entertainment of The CW network and president of Conde Nast Entertainment. Bowers has been an independent director on the Activision Blizzard board since 2018 and also sits on the Dream Fund for Scholars advisory board, the Teachers College, Columbia University, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Edward E. Ford Foundation.
Activision remains focused on facilitating workplace culture changes.
According to a spokesperson for Activision, the Workplace Responsibility Committee will require the company’s management to put measures in place to assess the company’s progress and ensure accountability for anyone found to violate policies. The committee also has the power to hire external advisers and consultants, including legal counsel, to help with their work.
A group consisting of Blizzard Activision’s CEO Bobby Kotick, Chief Compliance Officer Frances Townsend, and Chief People Officer Claudine Naughton will be required to regularly report to the Workplace Responsibility Committee, which will then report those findings to the board of directors as a whole.
“While Blizzard Activision, with the board’s support, has been making important progress in improving workplace culture, it is clear that current circumstances demand increased board engagement,” says a spokesperson for Activision Blizzard. “Formation of the Workplace Responsibility Committee and additional future changes will help facilitate additional direct oversight and transparency and ensure that the company’s commitments to Activision Blizzard’s workforce are carried out with urgency and impact. This has been a challenging time across the company, but the board is confident in the actions underway to set up the company for future success.”
Blizzard Activision makes a healthy workplace for all employees its top priority.
Activision is also currently in the process of hiring an equal employment opportunity coordinator. This person will interact directly with the Workplace Responsibility Committee, the board of directors, and another independent equal employment opportunity consultant to ensure a healthy working environment for all at Activision Blizzard.
“The Activision Blizzard coard is committed to ensuring a healthy workplace in which all employees feel safe, valued, and respected,” says a spokesperson for the company. “Our Audit Committee has been kept apprised of developments. The board supports the numerous steps taken by management since 2018 to improve workplace culture, including centralizing the human resources function in 2019 to ensure greater consistency and accountability, strengthening and increasing training, and, most recently, improving methods for reporting and responding to complaints of harassment, retaliation, and discrimination.”
Since October, the board of Directors has been meeting biweekly for in-depth assessments on related plans and progress. “Now the board receives detailed written weekly reports,” says an Activision spokesperson. “The board remains committed to helping drive significant, additional improvements.”
Celebrating diversity is at the core of Activision Blizzard’s culture.
“Our mission, which is to connect and engage the world through epic entertainment, has never been more important than right now,” says a spokesperson for Blizzard Activision. The interactive-entertainment software company’s enduring game franchises, including Candy Crush, Diablo, Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, StarCraft, Hearthstone, Pet Rescue, and Crash Bandicoot, are enjoyed by people of all ages in 190 countries around the world. “We enable social connections through the lens of fun, and we foster purpose and accomplishment through healthy competition,” notes the spokesperson. “Like sports but with great accessibility, our places can find purpose and meaning through competitive gaming. Celebrating differences is at the core of our culture. Video games, unlike any other entertainment media, have the ability to break down the barriers that can inhibit tolerance and understanding.”