Despite Employee Strife, Activision Blizzard Beats Wall Street Expectations

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.


Pejman Nozad, a founding managing partner at Pear VC, joins this episode of LA Venture to discuss Pear VC's current initiatives, including its accelerator and fellowships. He's seen as one of the most successful angel investors in the area, and for good reason: he has made more than 300 investments in his lifetime.

Read more Show less
Minnie Ingersoll
Minnie Ingersoll is a partner at TenOneTen and host of the LA Venture podcast. Prior to TenOneTen, Minnie was the COO and co-founder of $100M+, an online marketplace for used cars. Minnie started her career as an early product manager at Google. Minnie studied Computer Science at Stanford and has an MBA from HBS. She recently moved back to L.A. after 20+ years in the Bay Area and is excited to be a part of the growing tech ecosystem of Southern California. In her space time, Minnie surfs baby waves and raises baby people.
Image by Candice Navi

In a year upended by crisis after crisis — the ongoing pandemic, the climate emergency, an insurrection in the capital — tech startup financing is not just bouncing back but altogether booming, and Los Angeles-based angel investors are a big part of that equation.

Angels usually take a stake in an emerging business using their own funds, before institutional investors are willing to throw more substantial resources behind an idea. Often, they start off as entrepreneurs or engineers themselves.

Read more Show less
Harri Weber

Do you know something we should know about L.A. tech or venture capital? Reach out securely via Signal: +1 917 434 4978.

Harri is dot.LA's senior finance reporter. She previously worked for Gizmodo, Fast Company, VentureBeat and Flipboard. Find her on Twitter and send tips on L.A. startups and venture capital to