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Activision Blizzard CEO Will Finally Step Down After Microsoft Acquisition, Reports Say

Activision Blizzard CEO Will Finally Step Down After Microsoft Acquisition, Reports Say

There have been calls for Bobby Kotick to resign since July last year, in wake of the Activision sexual harassment lawsuit.

Microsoft’s $68 billion dollar acquisition of Activision means a lot of things. One major thing, of course, is all the IPs that are soon to be owned by Xbox, to do with whatever they please. Yes, that means that we’re now living in a timeline where Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon could become Xbox exclusives, which seems a bit cursed.

Anyway, one of the main questions that’s been raised by all this, is what’s going to happen to Activision CEO Bobby Kotick? Activision has, of course, been under a lot of fire since July when the sexual harassment lawsuit began, and the company was called out for its misogynistic practices, and what’s been described as a “frat boy culture” in the workplace. Since then, even more stuff started coming to the surface, including unfair labour practices, the fact that Kotick himself sent a death threat to his assistant back in 2006, and had also been aware of the sexual harassment allegations within the company well before they became public. 

The huge acquisition is set to see a huge amount of IPs, including Crash Bandicoot, all belong to Microsoft.

Understandably then, there have been a lot of calls for Kotick to step down (frankly it’s quite incredible that he hasn’t already), but with the acquisition underway, it seems like the time might finally be here, with reports by The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg expecting him to leave once the deal is closed. 

In the official announcement from Microsoft, it was stated that “Bobby Kotick will continue to serve as CEO of Activision Blizzard”, but followed it up with: “Once the deal closes, the Activision Blizzard business will report to Phil Spencer, CEO, Microsoft Gaming.” 

Kotick himself has been very vague about the whole thing, though, not really acknowledging what’s going to happen after the acquisition happens. In his own statement, he said: “Transactions like these can take a long time to complete. Until we receive all the necessary regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions are satisfied […], we will continue to operate completely autonomously. I will continue as our CEO with the same passion and enthusiasm I had when I began this amazing journey in 1991.” 

Just to add to the dubiousness, speaking to The New York Times, he claimed that he’d be “available as needed” after the deal closes, which certainly suggests he doesn’t expect to be there in a full-time capacity. 

According to Kotick’s employee agreement, it’d cost Activision almost $293 million if they were to terminate him following a change of control, which is astonishing. That said, they’re soon going to be seeing a much larger figure than that in their account, so maybe it’s not unreasonable. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Featured Image Credit: Mika Baumeister via Unsplash, Steven Simko via Wikimedia Commons

Topics: Activision, Activision Blizzard, Microsoft