A recent article by the Washington Post goes into nice element about how Bobby Kotick’s historical past of litigation stretches all the way in which again to the start of his profession.
Earlier than Activision, Name of Obligation, and the recent controversies surrounding Activision Blizzard’s office tradition, Kotick’s first firm, Arktronics, sought to supply a instrument to make utilizing the Apple II laptop simpler for the non tech-savvy. Kotick and his enterprise companions requested their staff to forgo parts of their salaries in trade for inventory choices, with these choices in addition to the corporate’s work as an entire in the end being rendered nugatory by later developments in Apple merchandise.
Arktronics staff sued Kotick for being cheated out of their wages in 1985. Arktronics and the staff ultimately settled, however Kotick and Arktronics delayed cost for years, with some former staff alleging they by no means acquired their portion of the settlement.
This anecdote was the primary in a sequence of comparable tales featured within the Washington Put up report going over Kotick’s fraught authorized battles with a number of contractors who labored on his dwelling in Beverly Hills, former staff, and even the band No Doubt, who sued over their likeness being utilized in 2009’s Band Hero. Kotick emailed one of many band’s legal professionals, who had represented him previously, to say: “Do you perceive that this can stop you from ever doing any enterprise with Activision, Common Music or ANY Vivendi firm anyplace on the planet?”
One notably egregious incident associated to a former flight attendant on Kotick’s non-public jet. Her swimsuit in opposition to the manager alleged that he fired her for complaining about sexual harassment from one other employee on the job, and within the ensuing case, Kotick’s legal professionals engaged in brutal, even merciless ways in opposition to the plaintiff, together with:
“After the flight attendant talked about throughout a deposition that she had an abortion, Kotick’s attorneys argued in courtroom filings that her ex-boyfriend ought to must reply questions on it throughout a deposition, and in addition that they need to be capable of introduce proof of the abortion at trial. The process could have ‘distracted [her] from correctly performing her job duties’ or brought about the ’emotional misery’ she was now blaming on her firing, Kotick’s lawyer argued in a authorized submitting.”
Regardless of his well-documented authorized points, Kotick has loved a really lengthy and profitable run on the prime of Activision Blizzard. Regardless that the Microsoft acquisition is successfully a concession to his failure to supply a secure work setting at his firm, and the harm that is executed to his fame, the corporate board has continued to publicly stand by him. The Washington Put up story is filled with anecdotes that make it clear how worthwhile—and forceful—his ways had been over three many years at Activision.
A former affiliate of Kotick’s claimed he was keen on the saying, “The one who has probably the most issues once they die, wins.” Kotick’s spokesperson informed The Washington Put up that that line was a saying from a mutual buddy’s sweatshirt, and that “Bobby denies he believed it then or now.”
Kotick is anticipated to depart Activision-Blizzard subsequent yr, after the Microsoft acquisition is full, with firm inventory at the moment valued round $400 million.