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Activision CEO Bobby Kotick Could Receive $15M "Golden Parachute" In Microsoft Deal

Despite the numerous misconduct allegations thrown his way, current Activision CEO Bobby Kotick appears set to leave the company with quite the chunk of change.


While there are still many questions as to what Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard means for the publisher, one thing seems certain: despite the numerous misconduct allegations thrown his way, current CEO Bobby Kotick appears set to leave the company with quite the chunk of change.

As reported by Axios, an extensive SEC filing outlining the details of Microsoft's purchase of Activision Blizzard offers Kotick a few different options to walk away with a substantial payout. Most notable is the clause that states if the CEO is fired without cause by Microsoft, he’ll be entitled to a $15 million “golden parachute" from the company. Additionally, if Activision’s board sees an improvement in company culture, the filing states that Kotick could receive as much as $22 million in stock later this year. Last but certainly not least, as of right now Kotick owns (or has the right to acquire) 6.5 million shares of Activision Blizzard, which--at Microsoft's buyout price--will be worth approximately $619 million. It is currently unclear what kind of financial compensation Kotick might receive if fired for cause.

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According to Axios, the filing also indicates that the board "may extend Kotick’s contract by 12 months beyond its current March 2023 expiration," well past how long outlets first reported Kotick would remain at Activision following Microsoft's acquisition of the company. This update is particularly shocking, as only a few weeks ago behind the scenes management at Microsoft and Activision Blizzard reportedly agreed that Kotick would leave the company shortly following the deal.

All this news comes shortly after Kotick announced he had asked Activision's board of directors to reduce his salary and cut his bonuses amid the company's numerous lawsuits.

While the report is disheartening, it seems a good time to remember Kotick's payout could be a relatively small price to pay for better leadership at Activision Blizzard. All throughout 2021, numerous accounts of misconduct, abuse, and sexual harassment taking place at the company surfaced, leading to The California Department of Fair Housing and Employment ("DFEH") filing a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard "sexist culture" and heavy scrutiny from various media outlets. Kotick in particular came under heavy fire last November, when a report alleged the CEO actively worked to cover up his knowledge of Activision Blizzard's workplace culture and threatened to kill a woman working at the company.

According to recent reports, it was shortly following these allegations that Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer reached out to Kotick about purchasing the company. As of right now, the deal hasn't officially gone through. However, experts expect it to be scrutinized, but ultimately approved.

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