Despite Employee Strife, Activision Blizzard Beats Wall Street Expectations

Sam Blake

Sam primarily covers entertainment and media for dot.LA. Previously he was Marjorie Deane Fellow at The Economist, where he wrote for the business and finance sections of the print edition. He has also worked at the XPRIZE Foundation, U.S. Government Accountability Office, KCRW, and MLB Advanced Media (now Disney Streaming Services). He holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson, an MPP from UCLA Luskin and a BA in History from University of Michigan. Email him at samblake@dot.LA and find him on Twitter @hisamblake

Despite Employee Strife, Activision Blizzard Beats Wall Street Expectations

Despite facing lawsuits from California and investors surrounding its "frat boy" workplace culture, Activision Blizzard beat Wall Street's expectations for revenue and forecasted revenue.

Revenues of $1.92 billion were slightly down from the company's banner 2020 second quarter, but surpassed analysts expectations of about $1.89 billion.

Still, the scandal has cast a shadow over the company; CEO Bobby Kotick went on the defense on Tuesday's earnings call with a four-and-a-half minute statement about his commitment to setting things right by Activision employees.

"People will be held accountable for their actions," Kotick said, adding that he will terminate employees "where appropriate," along with company managers and leaders who impede the evaluation and addressing of claims of harassment and discrimination.

Activision's share price was down as much as almost 6% earlier in the day, but rebounded in after-hours trading to a 4% rise from the opening bell.

The workplace-culture imbroglio predominated the question-and-answer portion of the usually dry earnings call.

Chief Operating Officer Daniel Alegre pointed to Blizzard's hiring of an outside law firm to review the company's workforce policies and procedures as a sign of its commitment to improvement. Earlier Tuesday, though, a group of activist Activision employees published a letter criticizing the company's choice of the law firm.

Meanwhile, Gary Cheng filed a class action lawsuit Tuesday in California's Central District Court against Activision on behalf of shareholders for securities fraud surrounding the company's failure to disclose its workplace crisis, claiming this artificially inflated the stock price. Chen is being represented by The Rosen Law Firm of Downtown L.A.

And at least one senior-level human relations executive has recently left the company, said an Activision representative.

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.


Energy Shares Wants to Offer You a Chance to Invest in Green Energy Startups

David Shultz

David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

Energy Shares Wants to Offer You a Chance to Invest in Green Energy Startups
Photo by Red Zeppelin on Unsplash

The Inflation Reduction Act contains almost $400 billion in funding for clean energy initiatives. There’s $250 billion for energy projects. $23 billion for transportation and EVs. $46 billion for environment. $21 billion for agriculture, and so on. With so much cash flowing into the sector, the possibilities for investment and growth are gigantic.

These investment opportunities, however, have typically been inaccessible for everyday retail investors until much later in a company’s development–after an IPO, usually. Meaning that the best returns are likely to be captured by banks and other institutions who have the capital and financing to invest large sums of money earlier in the process.

That’s where Pasadena-based Energy Shares comes in. The company wants to help democratize access to these investment opportunities and simultaneously give early-stage utility-scale energy projects another revenue stream.

Read moreShow less

How These Ukranian Entrepreneurs Relocated Their Startups to LA and Found Success

Aisha Counts
Aisha Counts is a business reporter covering the technology industry. She has written extensively about tech giants, emerging technologies, startups and venture capital. Before becoming a journalist she spent several years as a management consultant at Ernst & Young.
How These Ukranian Entrepreneurs Relocated Their Startups to LA and Found Success
Joey Mota

Fleeing war and chasing new opportunities, more than a dozen Ukrainian entrepreneurs have landed in Los Angeles, finding an unexpected community in the city of dreams. These entrepreneurs have started companies that are collectively worth more than $300 million, in industries ranging from electric vehicle charging stations to audience monetization platforms to social networks.

Dot.LA spent an evening with this group of Ukrainian citizens, learning what it was like to build startups in Ukraine, to cope with the unimaginable fear of fleeing war, and to garner the resilience to rebuild.

Read moreShow less