Activision Blizzard

Blizzard facing age discrimination lawsuit

By Olivia Richman

|

Jan 5, 2024

Reading time: 1 min

Activision is facing another lawsuit, this time related to an age discrimination accusation.

A former Activision executive has sued the video game publisher for age discrimination, according to a report by Law360. The 57-year-old worked for Blizzard from 2014 until August 2023, when he was laid off as part of a restructuring of the tech department.

The man claims in the lawsuit that former CEO Bobby Kotick allegedly said, “There are too many old white guys” while discussing the company’s problems at a leadership conference. After the meeting, two white executives apparently left the company in part due to Kotick’s “ageist remarks.”

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When one of the executives left, he recommended the plaintiff as a replacement but a younger person of color was chosen instead, becoming his manager. The lawsuit also states that this new manager created a hostile work environment and that the older former employee received the lowest merit-based salary increase he’d ever had.

At this point, the plaintiff reported a complaint with human resources, accusing Blizzard of failing to “protect” him from “discriminatory and defamatory accusations.” The plaintiff called for “checks and balances,” sounding the alarm that a larger issue was forming. He then asked for the department to be investigated, but his complaints were “ignored.”

By August of 2023, the plaintiff was laid off as part of a central tech restructuring. The other five people cut were men over 47 years old.

He stated: “Activision placed profits over people by terminating the older, higher paid executives.”

Now, the plaintiff is asking for damages to make up for a loss of earnings and the negative impact it had on his career advancement. Wrongful termination and reputational damage are also listed as reasons behind the lawsuit.

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