Activision takes Netflix to court.
Netflix is GUILTY..or not, this is gaming news? Activision has decided to go to courts over the alleged poaching of its CFO, Spencer Neumann. The suit alleges that Netflix incited its CFO to break the contract.
The case was filed last week in a California court and the detail of the case goes like this; Activision Blizzard accused Netflix of multiple offenses which include international interference with contract, aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty, and unfair competition.
Neumann was hired by Activision as CFO in May of 2017 and according to the contract Neumann had to serve as the CFO until April 2020 at least. The contract also gave an additional option for Activision to keep Neumann in the role for an additional year.
An interesting point to note here is that in January 2019, Activision terminated the contract of Neumann without giving any clear answer of why Neumann was fired. The only statement Activision gave at that time was that it was a “cause unrelated to the Company’s financial reporting or disclosure controls and procedures.” But little did we know that Neumann was jumping ship to movie streaming company at that time.
The commitment between Neumann and Activision was short-lived because Netflix jumped in and “deliberately and maliciously” manipulated Neumann away from Activision. The Hollywood reporter in this context said, “Netflix knowingly induced Neumann to breach his employment contract with Activision, and worse, 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.”
Moreover, Activision also accused the movie company of offering Neumann to cover any legal costs or liability that may get incurred due to breach of contract. With this suit, Activision is seeking a permanent injunction against the movie streaming company to stop future poaching of its employees as well as payment of damages.
Employee poaching is a serious issue in the corporate world and Netflix has previously lost an employee poaching case to Fox.