SEC subpoenas Activision Blizzard CEO Kotick

SEC subpoenas Activision Blizzard CEO Kotick

The CEO of Activision Blizzard, Robert Kotick, has been subpoenaed by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

That's according to The Wall Street Journal, which reports that the government body has launched a "wide ranging" investigation that in part involves its response to allegations of misconduct, harassment and abuse within its workforce.

The SEC has subpoenaed Activision Blizzard, as well as a number of execs and members of management, including Kotick. As part of its investigation, the organisation has requested minutes for Activision Blizzard board meetings since 2019 as well as the personnel files of six ex-employees and separation agreements the firm has signed this year.

This is the latest in a long line of bad press for Activision Blizzard. The firm has long been under fire for exec pay, but in July California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a lawsuit against the US publishing giant filled with allegations that paint a picture of a wildly toxic working culture.

Following an initially rather hostile response, Kotick wrote a letter to investors saying that it was launching an internal investigation into the allegations and was bringing in law firm Wilmer Hale to aid this.

Blizzard president J. Allen Brack departed the company in the wake of the lawsuit and has been replaced by Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.