1. This group, SOC, owns 4.8 million shares, or just 0.6% of Activision Blizzard
2. SOC has been criticizing Kotick for a long time. This isn't a turnaround or shift in view from them
Note that Kotick possesses just shy of 0.5% of shares, so he himself has nearly the same amount of bargaining power.
A day after Activision Blizzard employees staged a walkout and called for the resignation of CEO Bobby Kotick and several other executives, a group of Activision Blizzard shareholders with a total of 4.8 million shares is similarly asking for the company CEO’s resignation in a letter to the company’s board of directors. The walkout and the letter from shareholders follows a Wall Street Journal report that Kotick was aware of sexual misconduct allegations at the firm but did not inform his board of directors.
“In contrast to past company statements, CEO Bobby Kotick was aware of many incidents of sexual harassment, sexual assault and gender discrimination at Activision Blizzard, but failed either to ensure that the executives and managers responsible were terminated or to recognize and address the systematic nature of the company’s hostile workplace culture,” the shareholders, led by the Strategic Organizing Center (SOC) Investment Group wrote in a joint letter addressed to the company’s board of directors and shared with The Washington Post.
In addition to asking Kotick to resign, the group of shareholders is calling for the board’s two longest serving directors, Brian Kelly and Robert Morgado, to retire by December 31. Kelly is chairman of the Activision Blizzard board of directors and Morgado serves as lead independent director. The Activision Blizzard board of directors responded to the Journal’s article Tuesday, saying it remained “confident in Bobby Kotick’s leadership.”
Shareholders said in the letter that if Kotick, Kelly and Morgado don’t step down, they would not vote for the reelection of the current directors on the board at the next annual shareholder meeting in June, and would urge other shareholders to follow. The SOC chose to call for Kelly and Morgado’s resignations as they are the two longest standing members of the board, it told The Post, with Kelly serving since 1995, and Morgado since 1997.