Controversial Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick will remain in his position after Microsoft’s buyout of the company, at least for the time being.
Editor’s Note: A lawsuit has been filed against Activision Blizzard by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, which alleges the company has engaged in abuse, discrimination, and retaliation against its female employees. Activision Blizzard has denied the allegations. The full details of the Activision Blizzard lawsuit (content warning: rape, suicide, abuse, harassment) are being updated as new information becomes available
Controversial Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick will temporarily remain in his role following Microsoft‘s confirmed deal to purchase the company. Activision Blizzard has become the latest gaming company to be acquired by Microsoft, with news of the purchase making waves when it was announced earlier today, January 18. Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard buyout reportedly cost $68.7 billion.
Activision Blizzard became one of the most controversial companies in gaming following multiple reports of abuse, a toxic work culture, bullying, discrimination, sexual harassment, and more. As CEO, Kotick has been an important figure in the reports and lawsuit, with many unhappy with his positioning within the company. Kotick initially promised full cooperation with the investigation into the claims, but his name is frequently seen across social media as users call for his resignation. As the lawsuit continues, so do allegations and reports against Activision and Kotick.
As revealed by Microsoft during its announcement of the Activision Blizzard deal earlier today, Bobby Kotick will retain his current role as CEO, at least for the time being. In the official statement, Microsoft notes the following:
“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. Once the deal closes, the Activision Blizzard business will report to Phil Spencer, CEO, Microsoft Gaming.”
According to an email from Kotick himself, the Microsoft buyout is expected to be completed in 2023, meaning Kotick will serve as Activision Blizzard CEO at least until that time. Following this, business will fall to Phil Spencer under his role as CEO of Microsoft Gaming.
Microsoft’s statement is particularly noteworthy as Phil Spencer recently spoke on Activision’s controversies, stating that he was deeply troubled by reports on Kotick’s alleged misconduct. He was just one of many big voices from within the gaming industry to speak out in regards to the Activision Blizzard lawsuit, with PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan and Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser joining him in condemning sexual harassment in the industry.
In the wake of the allegations, some people were hoping that Microsoft’s buyout of Activision Blizzard would lead to the end of Bobby Kotick’s position within the company, but it seems like Kotick will remain for the time being. However, his future remains unclear. Microsoft’s wider plans for Activision Blizzard are unknown at this stage, and it’s very possible the company will take action once the financial deal is finalized. In any case, Kotick will remain CEO of Activision Blizzard throughout this year and beyond.
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