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Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick needs to resign right now

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Wednesday, November 24, 2021

The gaming giant can't reinvent itself if he's still in charge

Activision Blizzard (ATVI) CEO Bobby Kotick needs to step down. The CEO of one of the country’s largest video game companies, Kotick has reportedly told executives at Activision Blizzard that he’ll resign if he can’t resolve the company’s myriad harassment scandals in short order.

But the problems at Activision Blizzard will require systemic changes, including Kotick’s removal right now — especially after The Wall Street Journal’s revelations last week that he knew about the company’s issues for years. Those problems include allegations of rape, sexual harassment, and sexual and racial discrimination.

If the company wants to move past these controversies, it needs to make a dramatic move. If not, Activision Blizzard risks losing the very people who make its games so successful: its software developers, testers, and engineers.

“People are leaving. I'm getting goodbye emails, like almost at least three a week,” explained Jessica Gonzalez, senior test analyst at Activision Blizzard’s Battle.net.

“I'm seeing people leaving the company, and high-level women, women that are in senior positions are just leaving the company because they have no faith in Kotick,” added Gonzalez, who helped organize an employee walkout after last week’s Journal report.

The exodus could get even worse, explained Colleen Ammerman, director of the Gender Initiative at Harvard Business School.

“This is something that is very bad for the health of your organization and ultimately for effectiveness,” she said. “You have people who are...

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