Activision fires more people in sexual harassment probe

NEW YORK, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Activision Blizzard Inc (ATVI.O) said on Monday it has fired or pushed out more than three dozen employees and disciplined another 40 since July to address allegations of sexual harassment and other misconduct at the videogame company.

After completing reviews, "37 employees have exited the company and another 44 received written reprimands, formal warnings or other discipline," the company said, confirming a report in the Wall Street Journal.

The maker of the "Call of Duty" game said it was still working on an interim update and had not yet notified employees.

But Activision denied Chief Executive Bobby Kotick held back a summary of the information which had been scheduled for release "before the winter holidays," as the Journal reported.

"An interim update to our employees is still being worked on and the company remains committed to continuing to provide periodic updates on its progress," the company said in a statement to Reuters.

More than 90% of the reviews launched in 2021 are done of a mix of statements ranging from general complaints that were not actionable or suggested misconduct to a small number of assertions that could be serious, the company said.

Activision had collected about 700 reports of employee concerns over misconduct and other issues since July, when a California state agency filed a lawsuit against the company over harassment claims, the Journal reported.

Activision disputed the number, but did not provide further context. "Although one case is one too many, there were not 700 reports of misconduct," a spokeswoman told Reuters.

Whether a comment about culture, an incident or suggested improvements, every report the company receives matters, Activision said.

Activision said in October it had fired more than 20 employees following allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination at the workplace, with 20 more individuals facing other forms of disciplinary action. read more

Reporting by Herbert Lash Editing by Paul Simao and David Gregorio

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