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Bobby Kotick Takes Another Pay Cut, Waives Arbitration In Letter To Staff

In the wake of all that’s been happening at Activision Blizzard, CEO Bobby Kotick—who has been in charge of the company during all the recent allegations of sexual harassment and abusive workplace conditions—is taking possible steps toward his claims of a commitment to inclusiveness. Among them, waiving arbitration, and having his salary cut to its lowest possible level.

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This all takes place while the enormously complicated court cases involving various departments of California and Activision Blizzard continue. Activision Blizzard are currently attempting to take advantage of a spat between the California Department of Fair and Equal Housing and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, in order to wriggle out of facing many of the allegations in court, and avoid a more significant consequence than the meager $18m fine currently in place.

While all this is happening, Kotick outlined five new changes the company is taking in a letter to staff:

This past July, Kotick issued a statement regarding the harassment allegations at Activision Blizzard. Organizers of the company’s employee walkout responded, pointing out that one of the things that Kotick did not address was ending forced arbitration for all employees. The exec’s most recent letter states that Activision Blizzard will waive forced arbitration.

Kotick’s earlier pay cut this past April brought his salary down to $875,000 from $1,750,000—although he was and is certainly still rich. In today’s letter, he is asking for an even bigger salary reduction.

“Lastly, I want to ensure that every available resource is being used in the service of becoming the industry leader in workplace excellence,” writes Kotick. “Accordingly, I have asked our Board of Directors to reduce my total compensation until the Board has determined that we have achieved the transformational gender-related goals and other commitments described above.”

To be more exact, Kotick asked the Board to cut his pay to the base salary under California law, which is $62,500.

“To be clear, this is a reduction in my overall compensation, not just my salary,” added the CEO. “I am asking not to receive any bonuses or be granted any equity during this time.”

Kotick has, of course, received plenty of enormous payouts during the years during which all the alleged workplace issues took place, under his leadership.

Update: 10/28/21, 12:20 p.m. ET: The Activision Blizzard worker group, ABetterABK, has now weighed in on the announcement calling it “a huge win.”

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