New York City Pension Funds are suing Activision Blizzard for documents about CEO Bobby Kotick

The complaint from the New York City Employees’ Retirement System, together with pension funds representing the city’s teachers, police and firefighters, seeks to open the books at Activision Blizzard to prove whether Kotick negotiated the company’s $ 68.7 billion sale to Microsoft as “a means of escaping responsibility “stemming from allegations that he closed his eyes for years with allegations of harassment of employees of the company. The funds are investors in Activision Blizzard, and claim that dishonesty from Kotick and the company̵[ads1]7;s board has undermined shareholder value.

On Wednesday, Activision Blizzard told CNN in a statement: “We disagree with the allegations in this complaint and look forward to presenting our arguments to the court.”

CNN obtained a public version of the complaint dated May 2 from the office of the New York City Comptroller. The original complaint, filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery, was dated April 26. Asked for comment, the inspector’s office in New York referred CNN to the New York City Law Department, which is handling the trial. The department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The complaint was first reported by Axios.

Thanks to the Microsoft agreement, the complaint stated: “Kotick will be able to escape liability and liability completely, and will instead continue to serve as a leader after the merger ends. Worse, despite his potential liability for breach of trust “, the board allowed Kotick to negotiate the transaction with Microsoft itself. The board’s decision to leave Kotick in the negotiation process is unforgivable for the additional reason that Kotick can personally receive significant material benefits if the value is not directly in line with the merger price.”

Kotick will receive a $ 22 million bonus for meeting cultural goals in the workplace that “almost identically track” the company’s settlement this year with the Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission, according to the complaint.

The case is the latest legal headache for Activision Blizzard, which is facing a series of federal investigations and investor lawsuits related to allegations of misconduct in the workplace.

The complaint follows several requests for Activision Blizzard records from NYC pension officials since October 2021, and it claims that the company has been insufficiently responsive. Among the documents now requested by officials are board presentations, minutes, notes and other documents related to the Microsoft agreement and specifically related to Kotick’s role in the case.

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