US government investigates CEO Bobby Kotick over Activision Blizzard allegations

Theo Salaun
activision blizzard sec invesigation subpoena bobby kotick ceo allegations

As the US federal government’s investigation into misconduct allegations against Activision Blizzard builds, employees like Bobby Kotick have reportedly been subpoenaed by the SEC.

Activision Blizzard’s allegations have ranged from sexual misconduct to union busting, with the Securities and Exchange Commission involved in the process and taking steps to investigate the popular company. 

Now, as reported by the Wall Street Journal’s Kirsten Grind and Sarah E. Needleman, sources claim the SEC are subpoenaing CEO Bobby Kotick, among other senior Activision Blizzard executives.

A series of allegations were spurred by accusations of a “pervasive frat boy culture” in the Californian government’s lawsuit against the gaming company. On September 20, this latest development illustrates the SEC’s growing involvement. 

SEC investigating Activision-Blizzard & CEO Bobby Kotick

As shared by Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier, the SEC has joined the investigation and has subpoenaed Kotick and others. In doing so, the federal government is specifically requesting information and cooperation from the company’s highest-level representatives to court over the aforementioned misconduct allegations.

After the initial California lawsuit, further legal cases have emerged. Activision Blizzard’s first response was described as “abhorrent,” with employees proceeding to go on strike and publicly critique the publicly traded company. 

In the few months since, Activision Blizzard’s franchised leagues — the Call of Duty and Overwatch Leagues — have both lost a variety of sponsors, seemingly related to the growing legal troubles.

Additionally, Blizzard president J. Allen Brack’s resignation was not enough to satisfy concerns over the company’s culture, as more cases emerged. 

With the federal labor complaint lodged by employees over “union busting” and a lawsuit over “false and misleading” behavior by shareholders, the company is under the microscope. Now, with the WSJ’s latest report, it appears that the SEC is holding said microscope toward Kotick and Activision Blizzard’s top brass.

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