Activision Suing Netflix for Allegedly Stealing Chief Financial Officer

Activision Suing Netflix for Allegedly Stealing Chief Financial Officer

Activision revealed that they are filing a lawsuit against Netflix due to the company's alleged actions causing a breach of contract.

Activision-Blizzard announced that they are filing a lawsuit against Netflix for allegedly poaching their Chief Financial Officer back in 2018. According to the company, Spencer Neumann resigned from Activision on December 31st, 2018 and two days later announced his new CFO position with Netflix. This is despite signing a three year contract with Activision that would have ended on April 30th, 2020.

In January 2019 they terminated Neumann’s contract, which according to Reuters was due to the breached contract. The lawsuit against Netflix confirms this as according to the filing the company “knowingly induced Neumann to breach his employment contract with Activision,” and “engaged in tortious conduct when Activision — with Neumann’s assistance — was negotiating with Netflix over a commercial partnership to distribute Activision’s linear media content.”

Because of the sudden departure, Activision was forced to pay millions of dollars more to his replacement as well as millions more to other executives in order to prevent them from leaving as well. The company wants Netflix to cover those and other costs, and it’s also after punitive damages and an injunction against what it says is “a pattern and practice of unlawfully inducing employees of other competitors to breach their fixed-term contracts.”

According to the lawsuit: “Unless Netflix is restrained by appropriate injunctive relief from continuing to raid Activision’s workforce by targeting its executives who have voluntarily entered into enforceable and ongoing fixed-term employment agreements, Activision will continue to suffer irreparable harm, including, but not limited to, losing the value of its valid fixed-term employment agreements, damage to its business reputation, workforce, and business opportunities, while Defendants will continue to be unjustly enriched by their tortious and unjust conduct.”

Activision-Blizzard has had a rough year. After laying off roughly 800 members of its staff in early 2019, the publishing giant has now closed another wing of its company this week. Reported by Bloomberg, Activision Blizzard told employees in October in its office located in Versailles, France that it would be closing the location down.