Xbox boss “deeply disturbed” by Activision’s handling of Bobby Kotick allegations
Xbox boss Phil Spencer has revealed his team is disturbed by the latest allegations against Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick and said that “all aspects” of their working partnership will be evaluated.
An email from Spencer to his Xbox staff was reviewed by Bloomberg, which revealed the company’s current stance on the video game publisher.
This comes on the heels of a damning report that said Kotick knew about sexual misconduct within Activision for years without disclosing it to the company.
The allegations left the Xbox head and his team “deeply disturbed,” he said in the email.
Microsoft and Activision Blizzard are two of the biggest entities in the video game industry and have a long-standing relationship, with multiple Blizzard games available on Xbox.
However, Spencer has signaled his intent to make proactive changes in regard to Xbox’s relationship with Kotick’s company.
“This type of behavior has no place in our industry,” Spencer told his staff.
Xbox is “evaluating all aspects of our relationship with Activision Blizzard and making ongoing proactive adjustments,” he said. The longtime Xbox head and Microsoft’s gaming leadership were left “disturbed and deeply troubled by the horrific events and actions.”
Kotick released a statement calling the allegations presented in a Wallstreet Journal report “misleading.” Activision’s Board of Directors would later defend its CEO and said they were “confident that Bobby Kotick appropriately addressed workplace issues brought to his attention.”
After the report came to light, Activision Blizzard shareholders to a signed petition from over 500 employees called for Kotick’s resignation.
PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan also condemned the company’s response to the allegations against Kotick, stating the developers have “not done enough to address a deep-seated culture of discrimination and harassment.”
Pressure is mounting for the company to take action against the company’s internal culture, which includes possibly removing Kotick as well as executive leadership or board members that support the embattled CEO.