Activision Blizzard’s controversial boss Bobby Kotick is expected to head out the door once Microsoft’s groundbreaking takeover bid goes through.
That’s according to Wall St Journal sources, via a fresh report tonight.
The question of whether Kotick would leave has remained – officially – unanswered, though the vague wording of statements from Xbox boss Phil Spencer this afternoon seemed to suggest Kotick would only stick around to see out the company’s transition period.
Eurogamer Newscast Special: Xbox buying Activision Blizzard.
Sources told Wall St Journal that Activision Blizzard and Microsoft had agreed Kotick would depart once the takeover bid was finalised.
Both companies have said the deal is expected to be done by June 2023.
“Bobby Kotick will continue to serve as CEO of Activision Blizzard, and he and his team will maintain their focus on driving efforts to further strengthen the company’s culture and accelerate business growth,” a Microsoft spokesperson said via press release earlier. “Once the deal closes, the Activision Blizzard business will report to Phil Spencer, CEO, Microsoft Gaming.”
Eurogamer has contacted Microsoft for further comment.
Kotick has become a widely-disliked figure within Activision Blizzard and across the video games industry, after numerous allegations of toxic workplace conditions under his watch, and lingering questions on how much he knew.
His exit from Activision Blizzard – likely with a substantial departing payout – may not have been how many would have hoped he would leave. But, if tonight’s report is correct, he will at least be gone.
A propos of nothing, here’s how much Activision Blizzard is to pay Kotick if he is terminated as a result of a change of control of the company, per his employee agreement pic.twitter.com/JEA5zexmI1
— Alex (@gamesbizuk) January 18, 2022
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Earlier today, Microsoft announced it would purchase Activision Blizzard for an astonishing $70bn, meaning it would take control of all the publisher’s various development studios, franchises, plus 10,000 employees.
In an investor call, as heard by Eurogamer, Microsoft boss Satya Nadella said his company would “have work to do” after acquiring Activision Blizzard, but that it was imperative company leaders improved the lives of employees.