Update: 24 hours after it went live, the ABK Workers Alliance petition calling for Bobby Kotick to step down as Activision Blizzard CEO has reached 1,600 signatures. A separate petition open to members of the public at Change.org is also attracting considerable attention, and is now approaching 16,000 signatures.
The pressure on Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick continues to grow, as more than 800 employees and contractors have signed a petition calling for his resignation.
The petition comes two days after more than 150 Activision Blizzard employees staged a walkout demanding Kotick’s removal, and one day after a shareholder group issued its own call for his resignation, along with that of the company’s chair of the board and lead independent director. The demands were made in the wake of a bombshell Wall Street Journal report alleging that Kotick was aware of incidents of sexual harassment and abuse at the company, and actually threatened to have an assistant killed in 2006.
“We, the undersigned, no longer have confidence in the leadership of Bobby Kotick as the CEO of Activision Blizzard,” the petition states. “The information that has come to light about his behaviors and practices in the running of our companies runs counter to the culture and integrity we require of our leadership—and directly conflicts with the initiatives started by our peers.”
“We ask that Bobby Kotick remove himself as CEO of Activision Blizzard, and that shareholders be allowed to select the new CEO without the input of Bobby, who we are aware owns a substantial portion of the voting rights of the shareholders.”
When the petition was first announced at 1 pm ET, it had more than 500 signatures; less than two hours later, that number has climbed past 800.
Despite the pressure, Kotick is holding firm for now. Earlier this week he issued a statement saying that the WSJ story was “inaccurate and misleading,” and the company’s board of directors has also expressed confidence in his leadership. Activision’s share price has taken a beating since the revelations of widespread discrimination and abuse at the company, however, and support for Kotick could fade quickly if the company’s stock continues to fall.