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EA COO calls out toxicity from industry leaders during DICE 2022 keynote

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During the DICE 2022 keynote, EA’s Senior Vice President and COO Lauren Miele spoke about the harassment and negativity that has come to light from industry leaders over the past few months. .

According to IGN, Miele didn’t directly mention any companies or executives, but based on recent news from the past year, it’s likely she’s directing that message primarily to Activision Blizzard and Activision CEO Bobby Kotick. “Stories of neglect and lawsuits, all from leaders who failed to meet the standards we expected,” Miele said. She also mentioned that despite “destructive behavior”, those in prominent roles in the industry still benefit.

Shortly after the accusations over the terrible work culture at Activision Blizzard, former Blizzard President J. Allen Brack resigned in August 2021. Despite his protests over Bobby Kotick’s removal, he still holds the position. However, following Activision Blizzard’s acquisition from Microsoft, Kotick is expected to receive a “golden parachute”, allowing him to leave the company with a big check once the acquisition is complete. According to recent reports, it has been learned that Kotick could leave the company with up to $15 million in his pocket.

Miele went on to say that “women have been harassed, bullied, marginalized, held back in their careers, paid less and much, much less. These are real stories, real human beings, and it’s happening in companies in our industry,” and “leaders who fail to meet basic standards must leave.”

Even with the likelihood of Kotick leaving once the acquisition is complete, that’s no guarantee that working environments under the Activision Blizzard umbrella will cease altogether. Additionally, this type of harassment happens across the industry, and this situation at Activision Blizzard is only in the spotlight because employees have spoken up. Xbox chief Phil Spencer has already revealed how Xbox Gaming’s chain of command will be structured in response.