Santa Monica-based Activision upholds SEC investigation into discrimination allegations

TALI ARBEL, Associated Press

Activision Blizzard, one of the world’s most prestigious video game companies, confirmed a government investigation and said it was working on handling complaints about discrimination in the workplace.

The Santa Monica, Calif., Company announced Tuesday that it is complying with a recent Securities and Exchange Commission subpoena directed to current and former employees, officers and the company itself on “employment and related issues.”

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the SEC was investigating how the company had handled complaints of sexual misconduct and discrimination in the workplace, and senior executives such as CEO Bobby Kotick, a well-known tech billionaire and ex-boyfriend of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, had summoned. An SEC spokesman declined to comment.

Activision Blizzard also said Tuesday that it worked with an Equal Opportunities Commission investigation into employment practices and that it is working with multiple regulators “to process and resolve complaints received in the workplace” and that it has committed to the company Doing “one of” the best, most inclusive jobs. “It has hired a new” Chief People Officer “from Disney.

The company’s shares are down 20% in two months as the maker of Candy Crush, Call of Duty, Overwatch and World of Warcraft build legal troubles over an alleged culture of discrimination against women and minorities. The stock fell 3.4% to $ 73.60 in Tuesday afternoon trading.

In late July, the California Civil Rights Agency sued the company for gender discrimination and sexual harassment. Employees staged a strike to protest Activision’s alleged sexism and discrimination culture.

A shareholder lawsuit in August said the company had failed to tell investors that it was being investigated in California and that there were workplace culture issues that could lead to legal issues. The shareholder lawsuit noted the discontent within the company, saying that more than 2,000 current and former Activision employees signed a petition criticizing the company’s response to the California lawsuit as “insulting” and not trusting the leadership, ” to put the safety of employees above their own interests. ”

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