Bobby Kotick To Leave Activision Blizzard If/When Microsoft's Deal Goes Through - Report

Kotick's days as the CEO of Activision Blizzard may be numbered.


Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, who founded the company 30+ years ago, has been its chief executive for decades, and recently has come under fire over workplace culture issues, is preparing to leave the company if and when Microsoft's deal to acquire Activision Blizzard goes through. This is according to sources speaking to The Wall Street Journal.

The official word is that Kotick will stay on at Activision Blizzard as its CEO for the time being, but behind the scenes, management at Microsoft and Activision Blizzard have reportedly agreed that Kotick will leave when the deal is done.

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Kotick is accused of, among other things, knowing about and covering up reports of sexual harassment. Kotick is also said to have threatened to kill an assistant.

Microsoft's proposed buyout of Activision Blizzard needs to clear regulatory hurdles. Should that happen, the deal could close in FY2023 (July 2022-June 2023). The board of directors at Microsoft and Activision Blizzard have already approved the deal, but Activision Blizzard's shareholders still need to give the go-ahead.

Kotick's contract with Activision Blizzard seems to show that he would be paid more than $200 million upon exiting Activision Blizzard as part of a clause pertaining to "termination or change of control." Workers at Activision Blizzard and across the gaming industry have called for Kotick to resign from his post in the wake of the sexual harassment and discrimination allegations against the company.

Xbox creator Seamus Blackley recently reacted to the Microsoft/Activision Blizzard news, saying he is "sickened" but also hopeful for the future.

If Microsoft's bid for Activision Blizzard is approved, it would become far and away Microsoft's biggest-ever acquisition, the next closest being LinkedIn ($26.2 billion). The news comes amid a busy time for big deals, as Take-Two just recently announced plans to buy Zynga for $12.7 billion.

Should the deal go through, Microsoft will take ownership of several massive franchises from Activision Blizzard, including Call of Duty, Warcraft, and Candy Crush, just to name a few.

For more on today's big news, check out the stories below.

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