Activision Facing Shareholder Lawsuit From NYC Pensions
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Activision Facing Shareholder Lawsuit From NYC Pensions

Activision Blizzard is facing yet another lawsuit—this time from the Big Apple.

The New York City Employees’ Retirement System–along with various pension funds for the city’s firefighters, police and teachers–filed suit against the Santa Monica-based video game publisher in Delaware’s Court of Chancery last month, Axios reported on Wednesday.


The plaintiffs, all Activision Blizzard shareholders, claim that Activision CEO Bobby Kotick is responsible for devaluing the pension plans’ investments by failing to adequately address allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination at the company.

Kotick and his fellow Activision directors are also accused of pushing the company’s pending $69 billion merger with Microsoft “as a means to escape liability for their egregious breaches of fiduciary duty,” according to the lawsuit.

“Given Kotick’s personal responsibility and liability for Activision’s broken workplace, it should have been clear to the Board that he was unfit to negotiate a sale of the Company,” the lawsuit says. “But it wasn’t.”

In an email statement to dot.LA, Activision offered its standard response to lawsuits: “We disagree with the allegations made in this complaint and look forward to presenting our arguments to the Court.”

The complaint alleges that Kotick and Activision’s board harmed the pension plans’ investments by undervaluing the company’s stock and rushing into a deal with Microsoft after allegations of sexual misconduct and discrimination surfaced at the company. In November, the Wall Street Journal reported that Kotick knew about sexual misconduct allegations at Activision for years, but failed to inform the board or take action.

“It is now clear that during this lengthy tenure, Kotick was aware of numerous credible allegations of misconduct by the company’s senior executives—but did nothing to address them or prevent further offenses,” the lawsuit states. “Kotick therefore faced a strong likelihood of liability for breaches of fiduciary duty, together with other members of the Board.”

Kotick has faced pressure to resign as CEO in the wake of such reports, but remains in charge of the company and is reportedly eligible for more than $500 million in stock awards as a result of the Microsoft deal.

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Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

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