Mike Morhaime, the co-founder and former CEO of Blizzard Entertainment, apologized for the “terrible” experiences women had while working for the company, which came to light in their highly publicized lawsuit.
It’s been a while since Morhaime was in charge of things at Blizzard Entertainment.
However, he was shocked to learn about the horrific allegations that the company, now called Activision Blizzard, fosters a “frat boy” culture that has subjected female employees to sexual harassment without consequence.
The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) report claimed the company was “akin to working in a frat house” and included everything from unequal pay to female employees to sexual harassment and more.
Morhaime described the allegations as “disturbing and difficult to read” and that “everything [he] stood for [had] been washed away,” although that pales in comparison to the fact that “real people have been harmed.”
“I was at Blizzard for 28 years,” he said. “During that time, I tried very hard to create an environment that was safe and welcoming for people of all genders and backgrounds. I knew that it was not perfect, but clearly, we were far from that goal.”
“The fact that so many women were mistreated and were not supported means we let them down. In addition, we did not succeed in making it feel safe for people to tell their truth. It is no consolation that other companies have faced similar challenges. I wanted us to be different, better.”
Morhaime explained that harassment and discrimination are “prevalent” in the video game industry and believes it’s important to “keep all employees feeling safe, supported, and treated equitably, regardless of gender and background.”
“It is the responsibility of leadership to stamp out toxicity and harassment in any form, across all levels of the company,” he added. “To the Blizzard women who experienced any of these things, I am extremely sorry that I failed you.”
— Mike Morhaime (@mikemorhaime) July 24, 2021
Morhaime concluded his statement by reiterating that he let these women down, and as a leader in the industry, he wants to hear their stories if they are willing to share them.
He also promised to use his influence to “help drive positive change” and combat “misogyny, discrimination, and harassment” wherever he can.
The current Activision and Blizzard presidents, Rob Kostich and J. Allen Brack, sent emails to employees describing the allegations as “disturbing” and vowed to do whatever it takes to cultivate an “inclusive environment” moving forward.