Embattled Activision CEO Kotick Inflames Company’s Legal Crisis (Bloomberg Law)
Dr. Olivarius provides expert commentary on Activision’s inflamed legal crisis and the implications on the board of directors.
The firestorm around Activision Blizzard Inc. CEO Bobby Kotick threatens to complicate the video game giant’s legal challenges as it deals with lawsuits and probes over allegations the company is a toxic workplace for women.
Attorneys said the allegations against Kotick hold serious implications for the company’s legal situation. How the board handles the matter could invite further litigation and drag out the company’s dealings with federal and California labor regulators and investors who have already filed lawsuits, as well as the Securities and Exchange Commission, which began investigating the company in September.
“This is really a very serious situation for Activision,” said Ann Olivarius, senior partner at McAllister Olivarius. “Civilly, it does implicate the board of directors in ways that are not positive, and exposes the whole company to additional criticisms, fines, and analysis.”
The board on Tuesday backed Kotick, saying they had confidence in his leadership and his handling of harassment complaints, but those statements failed to quell critics, including employee activists. The board’s next steps, how it investigates the allegations against Kotick, and manages the employee outcry, are “pivotal” for the various legal actions the company faces, Olivarius said