Jun 21, 2022 - Technology

Activision shareholders ignore board, vote for misconduct report

Photo inside a darkened theater where the Activision logo hangs above signage for a Call of Duty war game

Photo: Troy Harvey/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Activision shareholders today voted for the company to issue an annual report about misconduct at the game maker.

Why it matters: The non-binding vote signaled skepticism that the company was sufficiently transparent in its own disclosures about misconduct.

Activision's board had recommended a no vote regarding the report, saying it would divert "energy and resources" better used to address worker concerns.

  • The company had said it was already committed to transparency.
  • The affirmative vote echoed a similar revolt against Microsoft last year, when stock owners of that company ignored their board's recommendation against issuing an annual sexual harassment report.
  • Activision shareholders otherwise fell in line, approving Activision's board of directors and their pay, while following the board's advice to reject an AFL-CIO proposal to add an employee-voted member to its board of directors.

Between the lines: The annual misconduct report was proposed by New York State's Common Retirement Fund. It would include:

  • The “total number of pending sexual abuse, harassment or discrimination complaints the company is seeking to resolve.”
  • The amount of money Activision spent settling misconduct claims in the past three years.
  • The number of pending misconduct complaints facing the company.

State of play: Activision Blizzard has been rocked by allegations of sexual misconduct and discrimination since last summer, when the state of California and the federal government's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission both sued it.

  • A proposed settlement with the EEOC includes an $18 million victims fund and three years of federal oversight, which requires reporting to the feds.

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Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to reflect that the shareholder vote was non-binding, and does not require the company to issue the annual report.

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