In a letter to Activision Blizzard employees and shared on the company’s investor relations page, CEO Bobby Kotick said he’s asked the board of directors to reduce his pay to the “lowest amount California law will allow,” which is $62,500 for salaried employees.
The Oct. 28 letter describes the goals and milestones that Kotick hopes Activision Blizzard can achieve over the next few years. Kotick said his compensation will stay reduced until the board determines that the company has achieved those goals. He said this is to “ensure that every available resource is being used in the service of becoming the industry leader in workplace excellence.”
The letter also relays five new changes being implemented at the company:
- A new zero-tolerance harassment policy company-wide. Any employee found through the new investigative processes to have committed harassment or retaliation will be terminated immediately.
- A promise to “increase the percentage of women and non-binary people in our workforce by 50% and will invest $250 million to accelerate opportunities for diverse talent.”
- The waiving of required arbitration of sexual harassment and discrimination claims.
- Increased visibility on pay equity.
- Increased regular progress updates.
Kotick reiterated in the letter that he’s asking for a reduction to his overall compensation and not just his salary. He’s asking not to “receive any bonuses or be granted any equity” during this period.
In April, Kotick agreed to cut his salary in half as part of an agreement with the SEC, down to $875,000 per year. But this was before the state of California’s top labor agency filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard for years of harassment and mistreatment of female employees. The lawsuit and the company’s initial response, which Kotick called “tone deaf,” prompted much public scrutiny and even a walkout from its employees.
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