The Security and Exchange Commission of the US Government has reportedly opened a Sunpoenaed against Activision Blizzard with a wide-reaching investigation involving many top-level employees and CEO, Bobby Kotick.
In a report by Wall Street Journal, SEC is the latest government body to claim irregularities and open investigation into the company over the multiple allegations of sexual harassment, abuse, and toxic behavior that became public following a California Department of Fair Employment and Housing lawsuit filed in July. As per WSJ, the SEC is asking the publisher to hand over various documents including the CEO’s communication with executives and personal files of six previous employees that complaint of sexual harassment and discrimination to the CEO.
The Subpoenaed this time isn’t strictly about justice against sexual harassment, abuse, and toxic behavior; the SEC is looking out for investors who also filed a lawsuit against the company over its handling of legal issues and disclosure to investors. The WSJ explains that the SEC is investigating Activision Blizzard and its executives to figure out whether they correctly and adequately disclosed allegations of workplace harassment and gender-pay issues to investors and if the disclosures happened quickly enough without any attempts to bury reports.
This is yet another serious legal problem for Activision Blizzard this month right after the employee union sued the company over unfair labor practices. Over the past 3 months, Activision Blizzard as a company is under the federal agency lens for its culture of “constant sexual harassment” and “turning a blind eye to complaints”. Even the exit of some big executives such as Blizzard president J. Allen Brack, Head of HR Jesse Meschuk, and three more high profile Blizzard employees following the heat from the lawsuits.
When contacted about the latest Subpoenaed, Activision Blizzard sent a statement to the WSJ addressing the SEC investigation and the ongoing pressure Activision Blizzard faces from lawsuits and government agencies: