One of many largest unanswered questions relating to Microsoft’s $67.8 billion buy of Activision Blizzard involved the function of Bobby Kotick on the firm. Now that and the writer is formally part of Microsoft, the way forward for the Activision Blizzard CEO is a bit of clearer.
In , Kotick wrote that he is “fully committed to helping with the transition.” He’ll remain at the helm “through the end of 2023” and he’ll report to Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer. “We both look forward to working together on a smooth integration for our teams and players,” Kotick wrote.
Kotick is widely expected to step down from the role he has held for over three decades as soon as January 1, though Activision Blizzard has an exact date for his departure. In any case, his contract .
Other changes are expected at the top of Activision Blizzard. In to the publisher’s staff, Spencer wrote that “we will share more updates on our new organizational structure in the coming months.”
Kotick shaped his company into a financially successful enterprise after leading a group of investors to buy Mediagenic for a bargain-basement price in 1991. He restructured the company and restored its previous name of Activision. In 2008, following a string of successful games, acquisitions and investments, Kotick engineered a merger with the games division of Vivendi, which owned Blizzard.
However, Kotick’s stewardship of the company has long been a controversial one. As far back as 2010, referred to as him “probably the most hated man in video video games,” partly due to the notion that Kotick locations a heavy deal with monetizing Activision Blizzard’s video games as a lot as doable. That’s to not point out his at his varied firms.
Over the previous couple of years, observers have been paying extra consideration to Activision Blizzard’s tradition underneath Kotick. In 2021, the California Civil Rights Division, , alleging that it the place discrimination and widespread harassment have been rife. Later that 12 months, a report by indicated that Kotick had lengthy been conscious of sexual misconduct and assault allegations at Activision Blizzard, and that he uncared for to share a few of these (or particulars about settlements that have been agreed with alleged victims) with the board.
The report led to many Activision Blizzard employees strolling out and . The next 12 months, months after Microsoft for Activision Blizzard, the writer’s shareholders .
The truth is, the turmoil over Activision Blizzard’s poisonous office tradition (and ensuing stress on the corporate that despatched its inventory tumbling) was what . Kotick had claimed that Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV delays resulted in a fall of the inventory value. However employees pushed again on these assertions.
Overwatch producer Tracy Kennedy that Kotick pushed “random tasks” onto the event group. Kennedy mentioned the group labored additional time solely to see these tasks canceled and that “whole groups are turning over” and blaming Kotick.
It’s not solely at Activision the place Kotick has spurred controversy. In 2007, the flight attendant of a personal jet he was co-owner of sued him. The attendant alleged that, after she knowledgeable the aircraft’s different proprietor that the pilot had sexually harassed her, Kotick fired her. The case resulted in a $200,000 settlement for the flight attendant.
Kotick has lengthy been one of many highest-paid CEOs in North America and he’s not precisely going to be retiring with solely a pleasant watch to indicate for his time at Activision Blizzard. A report final 12 months urged that he from the sale to Microsoft. He’s additionally anticipated to obtain a golden parachute cost of $14.6 million when he departs.
This text initially appeared on Engadget at