‘No Widespread Harassment’ at Activision, According to Internal Probe

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter at @Samsonamore. Pronouns: he/him

‘No Widespread Harassment’ at Activision, According to Internal Probe
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Activision Blizzard said Thursday that an internal investigation found there was “no evidence” that senior executives ignored or attempted to conceal reports of sexual harassment at the Santa Monica-based video game publisher, while also disputing that “there was ever a systemic issue with harassment, discrimination or retaliation” at the company.


The “Call of Duty” developer did acknowledge that there were “some substantiated instances of gender harassment” at the company, it said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commssion. It added, however, that those instances “do not support the conclusion that Activision senior leadership or the board [of directors] were aware of and tolerated gender harassment.”

The findings run counter to a bombshell Wall Street Journal report that claimed Activision CEO Bobby Kotick knew of and failed to report allegations of rape, sexual assault and workplace misconduct to the company’s board of directors. The report prompted walkouts by Activision employees, many of whom joined Activision investors in calling for Kotick’s resignation.

Since then, Kotick has arranged for Activision to be acquired by tech giant Microsoft in a $69 billion transaction that would be the video game industry’s largest-ever merger. Activision has also faced multiple sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuits from current and former employees, with such claims also being investigated by regulators at both the state and federal level.

On Thursday, Activision said that it had hired Gilbert Casellas, a former chair of the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), to investigate the allegations against the company. The EEOC is the same agency that struck an $18 million settlement with Activision last fall over the claims.

Casellas’ review “concluded that there was no widespread harassment, pattern or practice of harassment, or systemic harassment at Activision Blizzard or at any of its business units” from September 2016 through December 2021, the company said. Additionally, Casellas “concluded that, based on the volume of reports, the amount of misconduct reflected is comparatively low for a company the size of Activision Blizzard,” which currently employs roughly 10,000 people worldwide and said it has employed over 25,000 in the last decade.

Activision also took aim at “an unrelenting barrage of media criticism that attempts to paint the entire company (and many innocent employees) with the stain of a very small portion of our employee population who engaged in bad behavior and were disciplined for it.” It also labeled the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s ongoing lawsuit against it as “highly inflammatory” and containing “made-for-press allegations,” and criticized the department’s “efforts to interfere with the EEOC settlement.”

Activision workers’ advocacy group ABetterABK criticized the company’s findings in an extensive Twitter thread on Thursday, describing them as “tone deaf” and taking particular aim at Kotick’s prior actions.

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Regard Raises $15M for AI-Powered Software That Help Doctors Diagnose Patients

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is dot.LA's Editorial Fellow. Prior to that, she was an editorial intern at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

Regard Raises $15M for AI-Powered Software That Help Doctors Diagnose Patients
Courtesy of Regard

Culver City-based health care startup Regard, which uses AI-driven software to help physicians accurately diagnose patients, has raised $15.3 million in Series A funding.

Pasadena-based Calibrate Ventures and Colorado-based Foundry Group led the investment in Regard, formerly known as HealthTensor. Other investors that participated in the round include TenOneTen Ventures, Susa Ventures, Brook Byers of Byers Capital and Dropbox CEO Drew Houston. The new funding will be used to grow Regard’s team and customer base, the company said in a press release.

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This Week in 'Raises': Regard Secures $15M, MaC Venture Capital Raises $203M for Second Fund

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is dot.LA's Editorial Fellow. Prior to that, she was an editorial intern at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

This Week in 'Raises': Regard Secures $15M, MaC Venture Capital Raises $203M for Second Fund
Image by Joshua Letona

This week in “Raises”: A local healthcare startup secured funding to help grow the team and deploy its software to more physicians and hospitals, while Black-led, seed-stage venture capital firm surpassed its goal for its second fund.

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How Braid Theory Plans to Build the Blue Economy from the Port of LA

Keerthi Vedantam

Keerthi Vedantam is a bioscience reporter at dot.LA. She cut her teeth covering everything from cloud computing to 5G in San Francisco and Seattle. Before she covered tech, Keerthi reported on tribal lands and congressional policy in Washington, D.C. Connect with her on Twitter, Clubhouse (@keerthivedantam) or Signal at 408-470-0776.

How Braid Theory Plans to Build the Blue Economy from the Port of LA
Photo courtesy of the Port of Los Angeles.

San Pedro-based Braid Theory is one of the growing number of accelerators in the country looking to grow the so-called blue economy, which spans a range of ocean-related industries and is estimated at $2.5 trillion a year.

The accelerator is accepting online applications until July 18, with its second-ever program kicking off in August.

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