The extent to which self-marketing and reality can diverge is best illustrated by a case these days than that of the video game company Activision Blizzard and its boss Robert "Bobby" Kotick.

The company wants to stand for a more diverse, more inclusive community and promote young talent, read the Activision website.

But the files of a Californian court paint a completely different picture.

Sarah Huemer

Editor in the "Money & More" department of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sunday newspaper.

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The list of allegations is long: Women are paid less than their male colleagues for the same job.

Sexual harassment was a regular occurrence.

The management team abused employees and joked about rapes.

There are a total of 500 complaints.

Also against Kotick himself.

Employee protests

In July 2021, the State of California filed suit.

The American "Wall Street Journal" revealed that Kotick had known about this for years, regularly received complaints via e-mail and did not react.

Victims were fired, the accused stayed with the company, so the allegation.

Kotick has always kept the incidents secret from the board of directors.

"Bobby Kotick is trying to cover up the company's problems," the Activision Blizzard employee association wrote on Twitter.

Around 2,000 of the company's 10,000 employees petitioned in November for Kotick's sacking.

One might assume that nobody would willingly want to be involved with such a toxic corporate culture.

Not so the software developer Microsoft.

He even wants to buy Activision Blizzard for $69 billion to strengthen his position in the gaming industry.

It could be the biggest deal in Microsoft history so far.

For years, Activision Blizzard's games have captivated millions of people: World of Warcraft.

Call of Duty or the Candy Crush Saga.

The products are then more decisive than the corporate culture.

Kotick stays?

Kotick has been at the helm of Activision Blizzard for 31 years.

At the age of 27 he bought majority shares in the then bankrupt company.

Only three months later he became boss.

It is still unclear whether he will be allowed to continue under the new roof.

All sides are covered.

However, research by the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg suggests that the takeover in 2023 will probably mean the end for Kotick at Activision Blizzard and he will have to leave the company.

If that's the case, Kotick won't go away empty-handed: He can then expect a settlement of around $300 million.