The Activision Blizzard board of directors announced that it has formed a “Workplace Responsibility Committee” (the “Committee”), initially comprised of two independent directors, to oversee the company’s progress in successfully implementing its new policies, procedures, and commitments to improve workplace culture and eliminate all forms of harassment and discrimination at the company. The committee is being chaired by Dawn Ostroff, an independent director since 2020. Reveta Bowers, an independent director since 2018, will serve on the Committee. In addition, the company is working to add a new, diverse director to the board.
The committee will require management to develop key performance indicators and/or other means to measure progress and ensure accountability. The CEO, Bobby Kotick, along with the chief people officer and chief compliance officer, will provide frequent progress reports to the committee, which will regularly brief the full board. The committee is empowered to retain outside consultants or advisers, including independent legal counsel, to assist in its work.
The Activision Blizzard Board is committed to ensuring a healthy workplace in which all employees feel valued, safe, and respected. The audit committee has been kept apprised of developments, including the EEOC and DFEH investigations. 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, discrimination, and retaliation. Beginning in October, the board has been meeting bi-weekly for in-depth assessments on related plans and progress and also now receives detailed written weekly reports. The Board remains committed to helping drive significant, additional improvements.
As announced on 27 September 2021, in an agreement with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the company, upon court approval of the agreement, will hire an EEO coordinator; that coordinator will have a direct reporting line to the Board. The committee will engage regularly with the EEO coordinator and an independent EEO consultant, who will be engaged consistent with the agreement. The duties of these two separate EEO functions will provide transparency both to the EEOC and the Workplace Responsibility Committee.
While the company, with the board’s support, has been making important progress to improve workplace culture, it is clear that current circumstances demand increased Board engagement. Formation of the 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 the company up for future success.