Activision Blizzard shareholders reject a board seat for employees – TechCrunch

As Activision Blizzard faces numerous sexual harassment lawsuits and investigations, employee activists have banded together for a seat on the company’s board of directors to represent the voice of staff. Despite major victories, like that of testers from Raven Software QA, a division of Activision, winning the first union election at a major US game company, shareholders overruled the organizers’ request to give voice to the workers at the meeting. Only 5% of shareholders voted in favor of extending a board seat to employees.

The bad news for activist employees did not end there. In November, a Wall Street Journal report found that Activision Blizzard’s top executives failed to notify the board of directors about an alleged breach at the company, and a minority group of shareholders demanded that board directors Brian Kelly and Robert Morgado step down. they will retire by the end of 2021. Now, months after that deadline, they have been re-elected to the board, along with controversial CEO Bobby Kotick.

Shareholders, however, approved a proposal by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli that would require the gaming giant to share information on employee compensation, the total number of sexual harassment settlements, the total number of pending complaints and overall progress in improving company culture.

This proposal may force Activision Blizzard to bear some degree of responsibility. But this is also a company board that investigated itself and found that it did nothing wrong apart from “some proven cases of gender harassment.” And yet, reports of toxic behavior, attempts to bust unions, and employee unrest at Activision Blizzard are rampant.

As more tech workers reach historic firsts in union organizing, like an Apple Store unionizing this week, the movement led by Raven Software’s QA testers can continue inside Activision Blizzard. Microsoft, the would-be buyer of Activision Blizzard, signed a labor neutrality agreement last week with the Communication Workers of America, which helped Raven Software workers unionize. Under that agreement, Microsoft will not actively try to prevent employees from unionizing.

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