Activision Blizzard Joins White House Initiative to Increase Veteran Employment in Technology Sector

Expands the Call of Duty Endowment’s Commitment to Ending Veteran

SANTA MONICA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq: ATVI) today expanded its commitment to the
veteran community by participating in the White House’s Joining Forces
initiative. At a ceremony hosted this morning by First Lady Michele
Obama and Dr. Jill Biden in the White House, Activision Blizzard joined
over 50 other US-based technology companies who altogether pledged more
than 100,000 in hiring commitments for veterans and military spouses
over the next five years.

The only interactive entertainment company to join the pledge,
participation in the Joining Forces initiative complements the work of
Activision Blizzard’s foundation, The Call of Duty Endowment (the
Endowment), which secures high-quality jobs for veterans and raises
awareness about America’s significant veteran unemployment problem.

“Over the past year, organizations supported by the Endowment saw a 15%
increase in requests from veterans for support,” said Bobby Kotick,
Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard and Co-Founder of the
Call of Duty Endowment. “Activision Blizzard and the Endowment have
helped more than 22,000 vets get good jobs, but there is much more to be

Joining Forces works with the public and private sectors to ensure
service members, veterans and their families have the right tools to
succeed throughout their lives. Since the launch of Joining Forces in
2011, more than 1.2 million veterans and spouses have been hired or

“By supporting the Joining Forces initiative, we hope the combined
efforts of the White House and companies like ours can solve the ongoing
problem of veteran unemployment,” said Dan Goldenberg, Executive
Director of the Call of Duty Endowment. “If we accomplish this task, we
will improve the lives of those who served and their families for
generations to come.”

In 2009 the Endowment set a goal of 25,000 veteran career placements by
2018. To date, through its robust and efficient grant program, The
Endowment and its grantees have placed more than 22,000 veterans in high
quality jobs at a cost of less than $600 per placement1.
Veterans placed last year earned an average starting salary of more than

The Endowment takes a performance-driven approach to funding
organizations that deliver the highest standards of quality and
cost-efficient veteran job placement services. Through its Seal of
Distinction program, the Endowment identifies best-in-class
organizations in the veteran employment space. Applicants have to meet
rigorous criteria to be considered, including opening their books to
provide extensive documentation about their results in placing veterans
in jobs. A sample of the metrics assessed include number of placements
made, average cost per placement, average starting salary, six-month
retention rate, key employee background checks, and a variety of
organizational financial health indicators. Semi-finalists are then
independently assessed on a pro bono basis by Deloitte and ultimately
approved by the Endowment’s Board of Directors. The award is accompanied
by a $30,000 unrestricted grant, as well as the opportunity to apply for
future funding. The Endowment awarded $5.6 million in grants to previous
Seal of Distinction recipients this year and has donated over $21
million to the effort since inception in 2009.

In addition to its annual veteran-focused Day of Service, Activision
Blizzard also utilizes key business opportunities to support veteran
employment. These include the Race to Prestige, an annual video game
marathon featuring the newest Call of Duty game which raises money for
the Endowment. Last year Activision Blizzard participated in
partnerships with Sony PlayStation, Microsoft Xbox, GameStop, Costco,
BestBuy, CKE and others to support getting veterans back to work.
Activision Blizzard completely covers the organization’s overhead costs,
so every dollar the Endowment raises goes directly to funding veteran
employment programs.

About Activision Blizzard

Activision Blizzard, Inc., a member of the S&P 500, is the world’s most
successful standalone interactive entertainment company. We delight over
500 million monthly active users around the world through franchises
including Activision’s Call of Duty®, Destiny and Skylanders®, Blizzard
Entertainment’s World of Warcraft®, StarCraft®, Diablo®
and Hearthstone®: Heroes of Warcraft™, and King’s Candy Crush®, Pet
® and Farm Heroes®. The company is one of the
Fortune ʺ100 Best Companies To Work For®ʺ. Headquartered in Santa
Monica, California, Activision Blizzard has operations throughout the
world, and its games are played in 196 countries. More information
about Activision Blizzard and its products can be found on the companyʹs

About the Call of Duty Endowment

The Call of Duty Endowment is a non-profit, public benefit corporation
co-founded by Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. The Endowment
helps veterans find high quality careers by supporting groups that
prepare them for the job market and by raising awareness of the value
vets bring to the workplace. For more information about the Call of Duty
Endowment, please visit

ACTIVISION and CALL OF DUTY are trademarks of Activision Publishing,
Inc. All other trademarks and trade names are the properties of their
respective owners.

1 2015 figure. Source: Call of Duty Endowment
Source: Call of Duty Endowment


Rubenstein Communications
Lauren Condoluci, 212.843.8493