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It'll Cost Microsoft Millions To Fire Activision CEO Bobby Kotick

It'll Cost Microsoft Millions To Fire Activision CEO Bobby Kotick

SEC filings suggest that Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick will win financially no matter the outcome of the Microsoft acquisition.

Ever since the news broke that Microsoft was planning to acquire Activision Blizzard for an eye watering $69 billion, there has been speculation as to what that all exactly means. Let's face it, the whole story feels like a spaced out fever dream; one that starts with a hotel room decorated with a picture of serial sex offender Bill Cosby, and ends in Call Of Duty coming Game Pass. Now as reported by Axios, the SEC (Securities & Exchange Commission) filing is out and a couple of our spicier questions have been answered. So buckle up lads, it's a wild ride.

Firstly, let's talk unions. Ever since numerous allegations of harassment and abuse at the company came out, staff at Activision Blizzard have been looking to unionise. Something the company, and CEO Bobby Kotick, have been doing their best to quash. The filings state that if the union is formed, Activision Blizzard would not be allowed to acknowledge the action, or enter an agreement. Instead it would have to defer the decision to daddy Microsoft, putting yet another barrier in place for worker's autonomy.

Want a fun alternative to Call Of Duty which actually works? Check out our Apex Legends wins and fails compilation below.

Speaking of daddy Microsoft, head of Microsoft Gaming Phil Spencer, has previously denied that the acquisition was not inspired by the plummeting stock prices. However, this seems to indeed be the case. Spencer started talks just three days after a report which revealed that Kotick had sent a death threat to a female employee. He also not only knew about, but covered up complaints of abuse.

This report tanked Activision Blizzard's stock prices below the $80 a share Microsoft was offering. The company eventually settled on $95 a share, which was roughly twice the market price at the time. This share price is vital to Kotick, who holds shares worth $619 million in the company at this valuation. Kotick also stands to gain a further $22 million in stocks if the board deems the company culture has seen improvement.

If you don't think rewarding a man with unimaginable wealth for doing the bare minimum, when he personally cultivated a culture of sexual harassment seems very fair, then the buckles might have to be tightened further. Following the allegations, Kotick reportedly took a pay cut from his regular salary of over $30 million a year to just under $70,000. This is of course in the knowledge that he'll see $22 million at the end of it.

There were reports which said Kotick would step down following the acquisition, however this is looking less likely. The filing indicates that the board will probably extend Kotick's position beyond 2023. Not only this, but if Microsoft do decide to fire him following the acquisition, he is entitled to a $15 million Golden Parachute.

If you were so inclined, it seems there is no need to worry about the bank account of dear old Bobby "I will destroy you!" Kotick. Seems no matter the outcome, he will still remain wealthy beyond the comprehension of the average person. Phew!

Featured Image Credit: Microsoft / Disney

Topics: Activision Blizzard, Microsoft